University of Cambridge > > Engineering - Mechanics and Materials Seminar Series > Mechanics of soft membranes and interfaces: anisotropy; nonlinearity; buckling

Mechanics of soft membranes and interfaces: anisotropy; nonlinearity; buckling

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Ms Helen Gardner.

The paradigm and seminal developments in soft membrane mechanics date back to the 1970s, with Helfrich’s description of the energy required to deform a bilayer. The shape of liquid interfaces has an even longer history, and is governed by the Young-Laplace equation. All these treatments assume linearity, and an absence of shear stresses. This holds well for fluid systems. However many systems of interest are not fluid, and have elasticity. In recent years these systems have come under focus. This talk will explore two systems: (a) the membrane of red blood cells; this is possibly the simplest cell type, and yet the mechanics and dynamical response of this membrane is highly non-trivial; (b) surface monolayers of the protein hydrophobin; this is a protein of great interest in the food industry as a foam stabiliser; it forms very elastic surface films, which buckle under compression.

This talk is part of the Engineering - Mechanics and Materials Seminar Series series.

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