2016 Undergraduate Summer Research Program Participant

Home Department: Mechanical Engineering
Supported by: Bio-X
Mentor: Manu Prakash, Bioengineering

Chemotaxis is the movement of an organism in response to a chemical stimulus. Anna is studying a non-biological analog of chemotaxis systems—implemented in a recently discovered dynamics of two component droplets, pioneered by the Prakash Lab. These simple systems demonstrate autonomous behavior of chemotaxis (sensing and motility) and provide the first example of complex behavior of chemotaxis implemented in non-living materials. Anna will be further exploring the physical dynamics of this system, specially looking at multi-droplet systems and exploring relationships of these ideas to condensed matter physics (spin glass systems).

Poster presented at the Stanford Bio-X Interdisciplinary Initiatives Symposium on August 24, 2016:

Lattice Systems of Vapor-Mediated Droplets

Anna Lai1, Stefan Karpitschka2, Manu Prakash2
[Departments of Mechanical Engineering1 and Bioengineering2, Stanford University]