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Programmable self-assembly

Scientists under the lead of Metin Sitti at the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems in Stuttgart have recently constructed a material system that provides dynamic self-assembly.

To be alive, biologically speaking, means to be able to breath, to eat, to drink, to grow, to age, and, perhaps, to move. Food is the energy source, and metabolism translates the stored chemical energy into biochemical energy to sustain live functions. The physical abstraction of this energy transduction by living organisms is extremely simple: it involves energy input and energy dissipation. This mechanistic view of life looks almost trivial, but to apply this type of thinking in the design of materials and material systems is non-trivial. Scientists under the lead of Metin Sitti at the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems in Stuttgart have recently constructed a material system that requires continuous magnetic energy input and viscous dissipation to maintain its spatiotemporal patterns, and the term usually used to describe this type of material system in the research community is dynamic self-assembly.

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Metin Sitti
Director
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Wendong Wang
Postdoctoral Researcher