Self-organized patterns and three-dimensional structures in nematic elastomers, funded by Israel Science Foundation (2014 - 2018)
The aim of the research is to design the ways of constructing three-dimensional
self-organized soft matter structures by exploring symmetry breaking transitions due to feedback
interactions between chemical transformations, mechanical deformations, and orientational order,
and guiding them by external inputs. The objective is to create complex non-repetitive structures
approaching the complexity of natural morphogenesis but amenable to rational analysis and
Multiscale mechanisms of epithelial patterning and morphogenesis: theory and experiments, funded by Human Frontier Science Program (2009 - 2013), cooperation with Princeton University,
Universit¸ Paris VI, and Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics (Dresden)
Folding of epithelial sheets is one of the most ancient mechanisms leading to the formation of three-dimensional structures during embryogenesis. In a highly simplified picture, epithelial morphogenesis can be separated into two steps. First, inductive signals establish two-dimensional patterns of gene expression across the epithelia. At the next step, these patterns are converted into spatial patterns of force generation and mechanical properties of cells, thus controlling the folding of a sheet into a target morphology. Based on live imaging and genetic experiments, we formulate the hypotheses regarding the connection between patterns of gene expression and the mechanical properties of patterned epithelia. We explore these hypotheses computationally, using a continuum mechanics approach, and experimentally, using live imaging. The result of this integrative approach is the first experimentally validated systems-level model for two-dimensional epithelial patterning and resulting folding into a target three-dimensional morphology.
Patterns and Defects in Nonlinear Systems, funded
by Minerva Center for nonlinear physics of complex systems (1995 - 2013)
Development of analytical and numerical tools for study of formation
and evolution of patterns in nonlinear systems, in particular, reaction-diffusion
systems and optical feedback devices. Study of distorted patterns and other
media with spontaneously broken symmetry dominated by interaction
and motion of defects.
Mesoscopic hydrodynamics of thin films, funded by Israel Science Foundation
(2002 - 2006)
The aim of the research is to investigate a class of continuous models bridging the gap between molecular dynamics and conventional hydrodynamics, and applicable at mesoscopic distances from gas-liquid and fluid-solid interfaces. Our approach implies continuum description taking into account in a kinetically and thermodynamically consistent way fluid-fluid and fluid-solid intermolecular interactions.
Motion and stability of contact lines, funded by Israel Science Foundation
(1997 - 2000)
Study of motion and stability of three-phase boundaries under the influence
of intermolecular forces and transport processes; mechanisms
and scenarios of the interfacial instabilities.
Pattern dynamics in catalytic surface reactions, funded by GIF (1999 - 2002)
Exploring new pattern formation processes in catalytic surface reactions,
including effects of surface anisotropy, phase transitions, roughening
and faceting. A cooperative experimental-theoretical project that integrates studies of
microscopic surface structure at the nanometer scale with studies of pattern formation in
the macroscopic range.