Prof. Omar Saleh (Univ. of California): "DNA-based active gels"



11 AM


TU Delft, BN conference room


Prof. Omar Saleh from the University of California, Santa Barbara, will visit  TU Delft and at 11 a.m. in the BN conference room he will discuss: "DNA-based active gels".

You are all invited to attend!


Cells are capable of a variety of dramatic stimuli-responsive mechanical behaviors. These capabilities are enabled by the pervading cytoskeletal network, an active gel composed of cross-linked structural filaments (e.g. actin) that are acted upon by motor proteins (e.g. myosin). I will discuss our efforts to replicate these features using non-cytoskeletal components, and thus to create artificial active gels. Such systems could be useful as models for understanding the physics of active fluctuations within the cytoskeleton and/or the nucleus. In particular, I will describe the synthesis and characterization of a gel formed from self-assembled DNA filaments, and activated by DNA motor proteins. The DNA gel stiffens upon activation, and displays non-equilibrium, yet quasi-diffusive, dynamics. Both features match theory and measurements of the cytoskeleton, highlighting  the universal aspects of non-equilibrium, motor-driven networks.