Mechanical Properties of Soft Materials

Soft materials have gained attention in many research and industrial fields. For example, kinds of hydrogels have been developed to provide the mechanical environments favorable for culturing cells. Wearable or foldable electronic devices require conducting materials with an excellent flexibility. We characterize the mechanical properties of soft materials in terms of elasticity, plasticity, and viscosity using various techniques such as rheometry, AFM (Atomic Force Microscopy), nano-indentation, magnetic tweezers, and optical tweezers. Not only the properties of themselves but also interaction between soft materials are characterized in our group. Followings are soft materials of our interest.

- Cytoskeletal filaments and networks
- Hydrogels and biopolymers
- Flexible electronic materials
research1_11Figure – 3D matrix of actin
bundles polymerized with
research1_12Figure – High resolution CCD image
of actin bundles polymerized
with alpha-actinin
F-actin networks reconstituted in vitro using purified actin and actin binding proteinsFigure – F-actin networks reconstituted in vitro using
purified actin and actin binding proteins