School of Physics Colloquium

Dapeng Bi (Northeastern University) Decoding the Origins of Fluidity in Biological Tissues

Speaker: Dapeng Bi (Northeastern University)

Title: Decoding the Origins of Fluidity in Biological Tissues

Abstract: Organisms continually adapt to mechanical forces at the cellular and tissue levels, a process crucial for sustaining vital life functions. In pivotal physiological processes, such as cancer progression and embryonic development, tissues are often poised near solid-like and fluid-like states. My talk will delve into three critical aspects of this phenomenon: (1) utilizing computational models that draw parallels with soft matter physics, we examine shear-induced rigidity and the origins of fluidity in epithelial tissues; (2) exploring the intricate relationship between external mechanical stresses and internal cellular dynamics, unraveling a range of rheological behaviors, such as shear thinning and thickening, which are key for understanding rheological responses in varying physical contexts; and (3) investigating how cellular processes like division and apoptosis influence tissue states, with a specific focus on the emergence of hexatic phases, an intermediate state exhibiting properties of both solids and liquids.

Bio: Dr. Bi is an associate professor in the Department of Physics at Northeastern University. He received his Ph.D. degree in physics in 2012 from Brandeis University and performed postdoctoral research at Syracuse University and Rockefeller University. He is a recipient of the National Science Foundation CAREER Award (2021), the Sloan Research Fellowship (2022), the International Human Frontier Science Program Award (2022), and the National Institutes of Health Maximizing Investigators’ Research Award (2023). He currently serves as the chair of the American Physical Society New England Section.

As a theorist at the interface of physics and biology, Bi works to understand the collective dynamics of a wide range of systems, from developing embryos to cancer tumors to metamaterials to granular assemblies.

Event Details


  • Date: 
    Monday, January 29, 2024 - 3:30pm to 4:30pm

Krone EBB - CHOA Seminar Room, 1st Floor