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Multiscale modeling and simulation of biological and artificial locomotion at the micron scale: from metastatic tumor cells and unicellular swimmers to bioinspired microrobots (MicroMotility)
Start date: Apr 1, 2014, End date: Mar 31, 2019 PROJECT  FINISHED 

The project addresses the mechanical bases of cell motility by swimming and crawling, and the possibility of replicating the principles behind them in artificial systems.The goals are to elucidate some key mechanisms governing bio-locomotion. In particular, actin- based motility of crawling cells and motility by swimming of unicellular organisms will be studied both in general and with reference to concrete model systems.The study of biological examples of swimming and crawling motility will be used to produce a prototype of a micron-scale bio-inspired motile micro-robot exploiting the miniaturization that becomes possible from the extensive use of active materials.This is a multi-disciplinary research project. The themes arise from the Mechanics of Soft and Bio- logical Matter. The methods are those of Computational Engineering, and take advantage of innovative techniques from Applied Mathematics. The planned research activities rest on the development of new tools and methods in mathematical modeling, numerical simulation, data acquisition on biological systems, and on the construction of prototype devices.***

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