Soft Matter is a subfield of Condensed Matter differing considerably from ordinary solids and fluids. It includes the objects such as rubber, elastomers, polymers, colloids, liquid crystals, foams, gels, granular matter, biological tissues, cells, and proteins. Obviously, Soft Matter spans a wide complexity of physical states and softness, which are sensitive to tiny perturbations from the environment, including mechanical forces, thermal fluctuations, electrical stimuli, light exposure, magnetic field and chemistry processes. This variety of responses enables diverse significant technologies related to soft matter to emerge in industry and engineering, often inspired by examples found in nature. Examples range from soft robotics, displays, functional films, smart fluids and flexible electronics to biomedical devices, tissue engineering, drug delivery, etc. In addition, as all vital movements in the human body involve soft tissues and are accompanied by various physical, chemical and biological processes, a deeper understanding of their mechanics (including multi-physics coupling) could, if properly manipulated, ultimately change human life.
The varied responses of soft matter to external stimuli feature nonlinearity, self-assembly, and coexistence of thermal fluctuations with solid phase constraints. This diversity results in new phenomena that are much more complex to model than for ordinary solids and fluids, and thus pose significant challenges to the manipulation of soft matter in both industrial technologies and biological processes. Mechanics plays a key role in these processes by revealing the underlying deformation and possible failure mechanisms, and by generating fundamental insights and establishing optimal criteria for proper design, manufacture, and services related to soft matter devices.
This symposium aims to forge fruitful and needed interactions among active researchers from both academia and industries working in the area of soft matter mechanics.
Presentation topics include but are not limited to
Areas of the symposium include, but are not limited to: