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Mechanics of Soft Matter: From Living Systems to Functional Composites

Ellen Kuhl, Stanford University

Renee Zhao, Stanford University

Soft materials are present in many living and engineered systems. Studying the mechanical behaviors of soft materials is crucial to understand the development of soft living systems and guide the design of functional soft systems. Functional soft composite materials are distinct from traditional materials and composites, due to their unprecedented potential of a wide range property tuning, large shape changes, and self-adaptivity that is inherently present in soft living systems. When combined with stimuli-responsive particles and mechanophores, soft composites enable multifunctional material and structural systems with applications in soft actuators, soft robotics, flexible electronics, metamaterials, and biomedical engineering.

This symposium will represent the emerging and recent advances in mechanics of soft living systems and functional soft composites with a focus on modeling, mechanics-guided material design, as well as their novel applications across a wide range of engineering fields.

Specific topics of interest include, but are not limited to:

•    Theoretical and computational modeling of soft living systems

•    Design and manufacturing of stimuli-responsive soft composites

•    Mechanics of soft materials with tunable properties and functionalities

•    Soft robotics and applications