Short course 1: Rheology of living systems


  Day 1 / Saturday, July 29, 2023
09:00 – 10:30 Lecture 1: Overview of Basic concepts in rheology: viscoelasticity and flow, Overview of techniques (I)
Gerald G. Fuller
  • Linear viscoelasticity, Common behaviour of complex liquids, Basics of low Reynolds' number flow, Single cell methods, Optical and magnetic tweezers - from the molecular to cell scale
10:30 – 11:00 Break
11:00 – 12:30 Lecture 2: Overview of techniques (II)
Gerald G. Fuller
  • Microrheology, Flow of cells through constrictions, Atomic force microscopy, Micropipette aspiration, Compression/Stretching of tissues (see e.g. G. Charras at Imperial College), Substrate strains, Traction force microscopy / Micropillar arrays, Rotational rheometry of cell layers, Sliding plate rheometry of cell layers: the Live Cell Rheometer
12:30 – 13:30 Lunch
13:30 – 14:30 Lecture 3: Rheology from Cells to Soft Tissues
Pietro Cicuta
  • Molecules of life, Cell cytoskeleton components, architecture, models adapted from polymers and gels, Cell membrane – fluctuations, dynamics, Extracellular matrix, Mechanics of flexible networks, Contributions of structural fibers to cell viscoelasticity
14:30 – 15:30 Lecture 4: Cellular-cellular and cellular-environment interactions
Gerald G. Fuller
  • Substrate elasticity and stem cell differentiation, Adhesion of cell layers to hydrogels (contact lenses), Corneal cell adhesion onto conjunctival cells, Interfacial rheology of biofilms
15:30 – 16:00 Break
16:00 – 17:30 Lecture 5: Focus on bacteria
Pietro Cicuta
  • Flows and dynamics within Bacteria cells, Bacteria growing as colonies, Properties of bacteria biofilms, Adhesion of bacteria onto bladder cells, Bacteria as swimmers
Day 2 / Sunday, July 30, 2023 
09:00 – 10:30 Lecture 6: Focus on Blood
Gerald G. Fuller
  • Blood in circulation, Hemorheology, the study of flow properties of blood and its elementsEk, tacytometers, Thromboelastometry (TEG) and rotational thromboelastometry (ROTEM): measurement of the coagulation cascade
    Models of blood viscoelasticity, Collective effects of RBC: The Fåhræus–Lindquist effect, rouleaux formation, Viscoelasticity of red blood cells, micropipette aspiration, Optical tweezers, RBC shape fluctuations:   extracting tension, bending, viscosity
 10:30 – 11:00 Break
11:00 – 12:00 Lecture 7: Focus on swimmers and active flows
Pietro Cicuta
  • Sperm and other eucaryotic swimmers, Motile cilia, flows in airways and brain, Viscoelasticity of mucus layers above bronchial epithelial cells
12:00 – 12:30 Discussion on open topics