Max Planck Partner Group Symposium

14 April 2017

Location: LH-1, National Centre for Biological Sciences

This meeting is centred around the inauguration of our Max Planck Partner Group on the "Self-organization of Cellular Form and Function" together with the Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization in Goettingen. This one day symposium brings together a set of scientists in Bangalore working broadly in the areas of active matter, complex fluids, collective behaviour and biophysics with the aim of developing stronger scientific ties going forward.


09:00-09:45 Explorations in cellular form and function : Shashi Thutupalli, NCBS, Bangalore

I will give an overview of the projects in our lab, particularly in the context of the Partner Group we are establishing. Specifically, I will describe our efforts in understanding some aspects of the spatio-temporal organization of cellular components and will try to make connections to the various themes of the meeting.

09:45-10:30 Complex fluids in complex environments : Stephan Herminghaus, MPI Dynamics and Self-Organization, Goettingen

Complex fluids are fluids the constituents of which are already by themselves complex (i.e., more complex than a single atom or small molecule). This applies to polymer melts as well as to swarming plankton or schools of fish. In most settings of practical relevance, the environment of such fluids adds even more complexity. We dwell on a few examples in which we show that despite the enormous degree of complexity, we sometimes can arrive at valuable insight and accurate predictions on the basis of surprisingly simple reasoning.

10:30-11:00 Coffee

11:00-11:45 Two Stories on Active Matter : Sriram Ramaswamy, IISc, Bangalore

My talk will discuss two problems. One is a theory of the trapping phase transition of polar active particles, and related experimental results. The other is on long-range fluctuation forces and singular interface dynamics in isotropic active fluids.

11:45-12:30 Stochasticity in fish schooling dynamics : Vishu Guttal, IISc, Bangalore

12:30-14:00 Lunch

14:00-14:45 Force networks and jamming in shear deformed sphere packings : Srikanth Sastry, JNCASR, Bangalore

The formation of self-organised structures under shear deformation that support stress have been discussed in the context of jamming in granular matter that arises in when granular assemblies are subjected to shear deformation. Frictional contact forces play a key role in developing mechanical rigidity in shear jamming systems, which can occur well below the jamming point of frictionless packings. The structures leading to shear jamming, however, result  from athermal shear deformation of even frictionless sphere assemblies. We employ this approach to generate shear jamming structures and analyse geometric conditions for shear jamming  by various means, including the evaluation of force networks directly from geometric information and rigidity percolation analysis.

14:45-15:30 Mechanical response in membrane-embedded proteins : Richard Morris, NCBS, Bangalore

In this talk I will describe how membrane hydrodynamics may be used to understand the mechanical response of certain membrane-embedded proteins.  Using such techniques, I will show that the gating mechanism of mechano-sensitive membrane channels can be distinguished by employing an inexpensive experimental assay.  To finish, I will describe how membrane nanodiscs (solvated by amphiphilic co-polymers) can be used to probe for the effects of Gaussian curvature on both embedded proteins and the lipid composition of membranes.

15:30-16:15 Vijay Krishnamurthy, ICTS, Bangalore

16:15-open ended Coffee, discussions