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From bubbles to cells

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I will review a body of work on the mechanics of disordered soft systems. In a first part, I will discuss the quasistatic rheology of liquid foams: based on numerical and experimental results, we will in particular describe the appearance of heterogeneous flow profiles in simple shear geometries. The second part will focus on fibre networks. Experimentally, these systems show a strong strain-stiffening, associated with fibre alignments and large values of the Poisson ratio in suitable geometries. We show that this effect is primarily elastic. Finally, I will introduce a current work on quantifying the morphological evolution of developing embryos. Without addressing any mechanical aspect at this stage, there is already a lot to be said about the kinematic description of tissue reorganization.

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