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Morphogenesis and mechanics of saddle-shaped network-like structures: growth and failure of arboreal termite nests.

18 aprile 2024
11:00 am
San Ponziano Complex - Conference Room

I am interested in 3D highly connected saddle-shaped structures that resemble minimal surfaces and play biological functions in several organisms. In particular, I study how these structures form, via self-organised accretion processes that involve multiple agents and elementary interaction rules. In parallel, I also investigate the mechanical properties associated to their geometry which may inspire the manufacturing of bio-inspired material. I will present a recent work that I have done on the morphogenesis of arboreal termite nests including modeling and laboratory experiments that show how surface curvature is sufficient to organise termite collective work. Next, I will present ongoing research on the behavior of these objects under compression, which revealed their capacity to absorb mechanical energy and a rich fracture dynamics that can be described with statistical tools.


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Giulio Facchini, CNRS, laboratorio Matière et Systèmes Complexes