EQUILIBRIUM AND NON-EQUILIBRIUM INTERFACIAL STATES OF LIQUID CRYSTALS IN CONTACT WITH BIOLOGICAL SYSTEMS
The generation, management and transduction of dynamic mechanical forces is one of the central sciences of living biological systems. The development of synthetic soft matter that can exchange mechanical information with bacterial and mammalian cells has the potential to yield new classes of hybrid material systems that can report on and direct living biological systems. This presentation will explore mechanical interactions of synthetic liquid crystalline materials and living systems in the context of molecular assemblies and cells. The examples discussed in this presentation will illustrate how both equilibrium and non-equilibrium interfacial states of liquid crystals can give rise to new classes of functional soft materials that pass mechanical, chemical and optical information to and from biological systems.