Applied Physics

A not-so-rigid way to get past the jam

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  09 Oct 2015:
Vol. 350, Issue 6257, pp. 174-175
DOI: 10.1126/science.350.6257.174-g

When highly concentrated particles become jammed, motion only happens in groups or through a cascading process. This rigidity transition, which for hard particles is accompanied by a transition to a solid-like state, is controlled by packing density. In some biological tissues, the packing fraction is almost always close to unity, but these materials still show glassy dynamics characteristic of the jammed state. Using the vertex model, Bi et al. show that the shape of the cell and the cell-to-cell adhesion correlate with whether the system is in a fluid or glassy state. They also identify a universal perimeter-to-area ratio where the jamming transition occurs.

Nat. Phys. 10.1038/nphys3471 (2015).

Navigate This Article