- Published on 01 October 2020
Submissions are invited for a Special Issue of EPJ E dedicated to the interdisciplinary theme ‘Diffusion and Convection in Nature’. The issue is meant to gather contributions from scientists from different research areas, from science to engineering, physics to biology, and to cover theory, experiment and application.
The scope of the issue is intended to push scientists in different areas to think differently and to compare and share similar methods with the final goal of seeding new ideas and linking areas that typically are poorly connected. As guest editors, we have a common interest in fluid systems out of thermodynamic equilibrium, where transport occurs across a wide range of length scales and is broadly related to diffusion and convection, depending on the boundary and experimental conditions, and we therefore warmly welcome contributions from specialists on mass transport phenomena in fluids. At the same time, we also encourage contributors from different areas of research to enrich the discussion with their concepts and views. In more detail, we welcome contributions on transport phenomena in complex systems in the broader sense, including social, financial and biological systems, active matter and soft matter, just to mention a few examples.
- Published on 28 September 2020
Submissions are invited for a Topical Issue of EPJ E on Tissue Mechanics.
Mechanical constraints are recognized as a key regulator of biological processes, from molecules to organisms, throughout embryonic development, tissue regeneration and in situations of physiological regulation and pathological disturbances [1,2]. The study of the influence of these physical constraints on living tissues, in particular on cells, and on organisms of the plant and animal kingdoms, has been the object for a decade of important works carried out at the interface between biology, physics and mechanics, constituting a new discipline: mechanobiology [3,4]. Tissues are living complex systems composed of a large number of cells, which confer to them their out-of-equilibrium behaviour. Cells within tissues exhibit heterogeneous properties in terms of shape, adhesion and dynamics. Such active materials give rise to emergent properties that include phase transitions, active turbulence and active nematic structures . The dynamics of multicellular assemblies thus rely on mechanical properties that often differ from the ones observed in passive materials and instruct biological functions such as growth, migration and assembly.
EPJ E Topical Issue: Physics of phase separation in cell biophysics: From non-equilibrium droplets to reaction-diffusion systems
- Published on 06 August 2020
Submissions are invited for a Topical Issue of EPJ E on Physics of phase separation in cell biophysics: From non-equilibrium droplets to reaction-diffusion systems.
Phase separation has emerged as a key physical concept in cellular biophysics [1,2]. For example, in living cells, the spatial and temporal organization of proteins, DNA as well as RNA, and their chemical reactions can be regulated by phase-separated droplets in the cytoplasm. In addition, phase separation has also been invoked as a key concept to understand prebiotic chemistry at the origin of life. These ideas were pioneered by Oparin  and Haldane  who proposed that macromolecular coacervates could have played an important role in organizing prebiotic chemical reactions. Both modern and early cells rely on a continuous in- and outflux of energy and matter, which drive chemical reactions away from equilibrium. The interplay of such reactions with the physics of phase separation gives rise to a rich set of phenomena such as the control of droplet size, position, and of biochemical reactions. The dynamics of phase separation in these chemically driven emulsions, also referred to as active emulsions , is therefore often quite different from those typically observed in soft matter systems which approach thermodynamic equilibrium.
- Published on 24 July 2020
Submissions are invited for a Topical Issue of EPJ E on Advances in Computational Methods for Biological Physics.
Over the last decade computational methods for biological physics have advanced enormously. This is due in part to the ever decreasing cost of computing power, as well as the ever increasing detail with which physical aspects of biological systems can be measured and compared with theory and simulations. However, key challenges remain, including how to simulate, analyse, and derive effective theories from complex multiscale or multiphysics models of biological processes on complex or evolving domains. This Topical Issue aims to showcase exciting recent advances in this area.
EPJ E Topical Issue: Disordered, non-equilibrium systems: From supercooled liquids to amorphous solids
- Published on 12 June 2020
Submissions are invited for a Topical Issue of EPJ E on Disordered, non-equilibrium systems: From supercooled liquids to amorphous solids
If a liquid is cooled fast enough to avoid crystallization the system enters a metastable state, the supercooled liquid. If we keep cooling the liquid, the relaxation time increases so steeply that the system behaves as a solid: a disordered, amorphous, solid. The methods used to understand ordered solids do not translate well to the understanding of disordered solids due to a lack of obvious symmetries and to the presence of an extremely large number of competing metastable states.
- Published on 29 May 2020
Submissions are invited for a Topical Issue of EPJ E on Physics and Geometry of Flexible Plates and Shells.
During the last decade there has been a growing activity in studying the physics of slender extended objects, thin plates or shells, as much experimentally as from the theoretical and numerical side. Such slender structures offer a wealth of interesting phenomena as they undergo crumpling, wrinkling, folding or growth.