Roman Belousov, PhD
Research Officer
Physics of Life 2022 | Edinburgh

I had the honor of being an invited speaker at the Physics of Life 2022 summer school in Edingburgh. Unfortunately, due to the COVID-19, my contribution turned into an online talk…

Energetics of cellular and multicellular organization

The energy-based modeling approach has been widely adopted to describe organization of cells and tissues in biology, e.g. vertex models, cellular Potts models, active hydrodynamics, etc. Since long this approach has grown beyond being just a proof of the concept: with an increasing interest biological and medical studies seek a useful interpretation for the quantitative details afforded by such models. Thermodynamics and stochastic thermodynamics provide a modern framework capable to bring the energy-based physical paradigm to its full potential. This framework exposes a connection between energetics, dynamics, spatiotemporal scales, and precision of the observed biophysical processes: How much energy do such processes consume? Could a particular process be slower or faster? How robust is it against fluctuations? By addressing these questions, one may hope to discover which principles control the course of biological processes, shape their properties and mechanisms. In my talk I will discuss how thermodynamics can be used to frame problems in cell biology.