Mechanics of Soft Matter: Application to Evo-Devo

Stephen M. Levin
Ezekiel Biomechanics Group
Presented in the Embryo Physics Course, February 26, 2009


Biologic material must be classified as “soft matter”, the same material category as colloids, foams and gels. The mechanics of foams and similar soft matter are different from the mechanics of solid, liquid and gases. They follow rigid rules formulated by Joseph Plateau in the mid 19^th century, and these rules must apply to biologic cells and sub-cellular structures, most of which are colloids. Here we will explore how these physical laws might affect evolutionary development of the embryo.



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