Morphing and shape control: from mechano-biology and bio-physics to micro-robotics

15 dicembre 2021
Orario di inizio 
Polo Ferrari 1 - Via Sommarive 5, Povo (Trento)
Room A205 presenza e modalità zoom
Organizzato da: 
Dipartimento di Fisica
Comunità universitaria
Ingresso libero
Dr. Albino Perego
Segreteria del Dipartimento di Fisica


  • Prof. Antonio De Simone

Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna, Pisa, and SISSA, Trieste


Locomotion strategies employed by unicellular organism are a rich source of inspiration for studying mechanisms for shape control. These strategies are particularly interesting because the organisms and the mechanisms they exploit are invisible to the naked eye, and offer surprising new solutions to the question of how shape can be controlled.
In recent years, we have studied locomotion and shape control in unicellular organisms using a broad range of tools ranging from bio-physics, to theoretical and computational mechanics, to experiment and observations at the microscope, to manufacturing of prototypes. The physical models used to demonstrate the mechanisms exploited by biological organism naturally suggest new solutions for adaptable and deployable structures, morphing devices, robotic applications, smart shape-shifting materials and structures. We discuss here the most recent findings within this stream of research. 


  • A. DeSimone: Cell motility and locomotion by shape control. Springer Lecture Notes in Mathematics 2260, 1-41 (2020)
  • G. Noselli, A. Beran, M. Arroyo, A. DeSimone: Swimming Euglena respond to confinement with a behavioral change enabling effective crawling. Nature Physics, 15, 496-502 (2019)
  • Rossi, G. Cicconofri, A. Beran, G. Noselli, A. DeSimone: Kinematics of flagellar swimming in Euglena gracilis: helical trajectories and flagellar shapes. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA 114(50), 13085-13090 (2017)    

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