Biophysics & Development Seminar: Andrej Košmrlj

Date & Time


Topic: Phase separation of multicomponent liquid mixtures

Abstract: Phase separation of multicomponent liquid mixtures plays an integral part in many processes ranging from industry to cellular biology. While the physics of binary and ternary liquid mixtures is well-understood, the thermodynamic properties of N-component mixtures with N>3 have remained relatively unexplored. This makes it challenging to understand how cells control concentrations of molecules and their interactions to navigate phase diagrams to achieve target structures. To address this issue, we developed novel algorithms for constructing phase diagrams and for predicting the morphology of separated phases. To determine the number of coexisting phases and their compositions, we developed a new algorithm for constructing complete phase diagrams, based on numerical convexification of the discretized free energy landscape. Furthermore, we developed a graph theory approach to predict the topology of coexisting phases from a given set of surface energies (forward problem), enumerate all topologically distinct morphologies, and reverse engineer conditions for surface energies that produce the target morphology (inverse problem).

About the Speaker

Andrej Košmrljis an assistant professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at PrincetonUniversity. Andrej Kosmrlj received his Ph.D. in Physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2011, and his postdoctoral training at HarvardUniversity. He joined Princeton University in 2015, where his group is doing theoretical and computational research of complex systems ranging from materials science to the physics of living systems. For his research achievements, Andrej Košmrlj has received the NSF Career Award and the AlfredRheinstein Faculty Award. For his teaching efforts, Andrej Košmrlj has received the Excellence in Teaching Award from the School of Engineering and AppliedScience.

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