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SPS Seminar - Is the tendency for all living systems to do work universal?

Thursday, June 23, 2022 - 14:00 to 15:00

When:  Thursday 23rd June at 14.00

Where:  Microsoft Teams - Online

Speaker:  Dr. Elsen Tjhung (Applied Mathematics OU)

Hosted by: Andrew James


Not long ago, it was found that swimming bacteria are able perform useful macroscopic work. If we look at the trajectories of swimming bacteria, they look completely random with no coherent motion. And yet, as soon as we put an asymmetric rotor inside a bath full of bacteria, the bacteria can somehow rotate the rotor in one direction. In this talk, we will try to establish if this tendency to extract work from all living system is universal by looking at another biological system, which is living tissue. Biological living tissues are continuously regenerated through cellular division and apoptosis (or cell death). I will discuss how we can extract useful work from these division and apoptosis process alone.


Mitchell, E. and Tjhung, E., Macroscopic current generated by local division and apoptosis in a minimal model of tissue dynamics, Soft Matter, (2022)

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