Colloquium # 303

Soft Matter Physics with emphasis on Biological systems

By Dr. Anirban Polley

National Centre for
Biological sciences, Bangalore

Thursday, July 1 2021 at 3:30 PM



Soft matter physics deals with those materials that are easily deformable, which includes polymer, colloid, liquid crystal, surfactant, gels, emulsion, foams, granular and biological materials. They have a common feature that the large basic structural units hold themselves through relatively weak interactions and this is mainly responsible for the characteristic softness. There are many other distinct features of soft material, such as, sensitivity towards the thermal fluctuation and the external stimuli, a slow response with long relaxation times which often leads to non-trivial flow behaviour, jamming and arrest in non-equilibrium states. A soft matter system is intrinsically heterogeneous in nature with complex interaction across different time and length scales. The subtle interplay between the interactions and thermal fluctuations may lead to the complex behaviour, such as, spontaneous pattern formation, self-assembly, and a large response to a small external stimuli. These features make a soft matter problem challenging.

A wide range of material and systems can be classified as soft matter. Soft matter science is an inherently interdisciplinary field, in which people with the knowledge of physics, chemistry, biology, material science and engineering work together. As the field is quite broad in scope, it is difficult to highlight the entire range of outstanding problems. Here, we will discuss on the mechanics of cell surface including spontaneous curvature, differential stress, bending modulus of the asymmetric bilayer membrane which has a significant role in biological systems.

About the speaker

Anirban Polley did B.Sc. in Physics hons. from Ramakrishna Mission Residential College, Narendrapur in 2005 and M.Sc. from IIT Madras in 2007. He received my PhD from Raman Research Institute, Bangalore in 2014. Then, he did postdocs from Tampere University of Technology, Finland, University of Chicago, USA, and Columbia University, New York, USA. Currently, Anirban Polley is a visiting scientist at National Centre for
Biological sciences, Bangalore.