Phase transitions are a ubiquitous physical phenomenon that encompasses, e.g., liquid condensation and water-oil demixing. A phase transition occurs when certain properties of the system changed drastically upon an infinitesimal shift in some of the system parameters. An everyday example is the condensation of vapour into water droplets upon cooling. Such a switch-like behaviour may be exploited in a range of biological processes. In this talk, I will first give a brief introduction of phase transitions. I will then discuss why phase transitions are relevant to cell biology in the contexts of biopolymer self-assembly, membrane lipid raft formation, and cytoplasmic organisation.
Dr. Chiu Fan Lee, Department of Bioengineering, Imperial College
SEMS/IoB Seminar Series
Coffee/tea/biscuits provided after the seminar