Mechanoreciprocity in in-silico biological matter

Kristian Thijssen, University of Copenhagen
Grant amount: DKK 10,752,848

Kristian Thijssen says: “Many organisms at high enough density start to display collective motion, including flocks of birds, schools of fish and on the micro-scale microorganisms. These swimming microorganisms are found everywhere: within humans, in soils and in industrial installations, and they display remarkable pattern formations at sufficiently high densities. We describe the collective motion of these swimmers as a “living liquid”. Just like a regular liquid, the container of the living liquid governs the dynamics, i.e. in a box, flowing through a pipe etc. However, many relevant biological systems exist in pliable environments where this living liquid can alter its soft surrounding. Hence, we expect to observe mutual interactions between liquid and surrounding, which this proposal seeks to investigate. This could open pathways for regulating bacteria dynamics to aid biodegradation, hinder contamination, combat medical infections and help with fertility problems to improve non-hormonal birth control.”

Project participants
Kristian Thijssen
Postdoc, Niels Bohr Institute, University of Copenhagen