We are working towards creating a joint experimental/theoretical/computational framework to explore the behavior of liquids which have programmable interactions.
Inspired by liquid liquid phase separation as a mechanism of organization in biological systems, we are looking in depth at systems containing both chemical reactions (interconversion of species) and phase separation (weak multivalent interactions between species). We study this problem through coarse-grained Brownian dynamics simulations. In particular, we are asking for different types of chemistry/multivalency, how does do the subsequent liquids behave (both statically and dynamically). Can we program certain kinds of dynamic liquid behavior by choosing the multivalency and chemistry carefully? Conversely, how can liquid behavior be tuned to control chemical output (as may happen in the cell)
In addition to these broad goals, we are working on experimental realizations of the same system. We are designing DNA nanotechnology platforms to create liquids in reality. To this end, we need to understand how real objects translate to our more coarse grained schemes, so we also perform simulations of liquid DNA.
Author: Dino Osmanovic, Mechanical Aerospace Engineering