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Solvent Transport in Active Gels

Wednesday, November 4, 2020

2:30pm – 3:45pm

Virtual via zoom (register by clicking here), Virginia Tech Campus

Luciano Teresi

Department of Mathematics and Physics

University of Roma Tre


A gel is made of a polymeric network, swollen with a liquid solvent; its steady state is due to the balance of elastic and chemical energy. In active gels, the free length of the polymer chains can be varied by external stimuli, and this change yields a liquid displacement until a new steady state is achieved. Here, we are interested in the dynamics of active gels, and we present a model using the perspective of continuum physics: the activation of the polymer network is viewed within the context of a stress-diffusion theory, augmented with the theory of growth and remodeling. This model can describe some key features of the dynamics of contractile gels; the results of the model will be compared and contrasted with the observations of actual experiments.


Luciano Teresi holds a M.S. in Aerospace Engineering, and a Ph.D. in Theoretical and Applied Mechanics from La Sapienza University, Rome, Italy. He is currently professor of mathematical physics in the Department of Mathematics and Physics, University of Roma Tre, Rome, Italy, where he teaches a graduate course in finite elements methods. His main research activities are in active soft matter, hydrogels, biological tissues, and cardiac mechanics.