The Fakhri lab investigates non-equilibrium physics in living systems and engineers functional active matter.

Active processes in both living and non-living matter create a novel class of non-equilibrium materials composed of many interacting parts that individually consume energy and collectively generate motion or mechanical stresses. Active systems exhibit a wealth of intriguing properties, including anomalous fluctuations, non-equilibrium phase transitions, pattern formation on mesoscopic scales and unusual mechanical and rheological properties. In biology, active systems span a large range of length scales, from molecules to the cytoskeleton of individual cells, to tissues, whole organisms and their collective ensembles.

Our lab has pioneered the use and development of fluorescent single-walled carbon nanotubes as probes in soft matter and biology. Our research focuses on combining concepts from physics, biology and engineering to decode non-equilibrium mechanisms in active living matter, to exploit these mechanisms for engineering functional active materials and to identify universal behavior in this broad class of internally driven systems.

“Living matter evades
    the decay to equilibrium.”

— What is Life? Erwin Schrödinger