The primary objective of this GRC is to bring together biologists, biochemists, chemists, materials scientists and engineers for a cross-disciplinary discussion on how molecules and their higher-order assemblies respond to forces and how this response influences material behavior at multiple hierarchical levels. Elucidating and controlling the response of molecules and molecular assemblies to forces and the implications of this response at multiple hierarchical length scales is of crucial importance for understanding the behavior of materials of both biological and synthetic origin. Dynamic, responsive and active material behaviors such as sensing and actuation, as well as self-reporting and self-healing, emerge from such molecular structure-property relationships. Indeed, many of the key questions in fields such as cellular mechanosensing, tissue engineering and smart materials engineering are grounded in these fundamental questions, which transcend individual disciplines.
Here, we will bring together these diverse research communities to focus on common overarching challenges in mechanochemistry and mechanobiology. We will share theoretical and experimental strategies as well as methods for investigating mechanoresponsive and mechanoactive molecules and materials. Motivated by our shared goals, this meeting will not only bridge the gap across disciplines but also span multiple length scales and integrate experiment and simulation. We expect that an open discussion of common goals will reveal significant overlaps, catalyzing cross-disciplinary scientific exchange and helping to unify and establish the specific objectives and critical questions at the core of mechanochemistry and mechanobiology. Increasing fundamental knowledge of molecular mechanisms and structural properties across all relevant hierarchical levels will ultimately allow for the targeted bottom-up synthesis of multifunctional and bio-inspired materials, and will ultimately drive new developments in a wide range of application-oriented areas as diverse as tissue engineering, disease diagnosis, sustainable smart material development and soft robotics.
The conference will consist of nine sessions, on the topics listed below. The conference chair is currently developing their preliminary program, which will include the names of the invited speakers and discussion leaders for each of these sessions. The preliminary program will be available by October 31, 2021. Please check back for updates.
- Multiscale Mechanics of Biological and Synthetic Materials
- Mechanosensing in the Different Domains of Life
- Mechanically Induced Chemical Reactions
- Mechanoresponsive Polymeric Materials
- Simulations and Mechanisms of Mechanoresponsive Molecules
- Bottom-up Design of Mechanoresponsive Materials
- Active Force Generation in Synthetic Systems
- Bio-inspired Materials
- Multiscale Methods for Measuring and Applying Forces