Biological materials are made of individual components, including tiny motors that convert fuel into motion. This creates patterns of movement, and the material shapes itself with coherent flows by constant consumption of energy. Such continuously driven materials are called ‘active matter’. The mechanics of cells and tissues can be described by active matter theory, a scientific framework to understand shape, flows, and form of living materials. The active matter theory consists of many challenging mathematical equations. Scientists have now developed an algorithm, implemented in an open-source supercomputer code, that can for the first time solve the equations of active matter theory in realistic scenarios. These solutions bring us a big step closer to solving the century-old riddle of how cells and tissues attain their shape and to designing artificial biological machines.
New computer code for mechanics of tissues and cells in three dimensions