I am interested in the mechanics of soft / active biomaterials. Soft materials are interesting because they often exhibit both liquid and solid-like characteristics depending on how you look at them – think toothpaste; toothpaste flows out of the tube like a liquid, but it stays perched on the bristles of a toothbrush like a solid.
Many biological materials fall into this category. I think of biology as a playground for testing new theories and discovering new mechanical behaviors. Using biological materials, I ask questions regarding how activity influences the mechanical behaviors of both living and non-living systems.
Motivation to study biophysics: When learning about biology, I was always put off by the way people said things along the lines of, “cells do this so that they can do that” as if the cell consciously made a decision. But statements like these are necessary due to the complexity of the biological world. Consequently, what can we learn from biology? Can we use physics to quantify these “rules” of nature and to find out how living materials differ from our man-made materials?
Feel free to look around and see the kinds of projects that I am interested in; contact me at a.pasha.tabatabai(at)gmail(dot)com if you are interested or have any questions!