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Undulating structures

The experimental and theoretical expertise developed by our core activity in lipid membranes is relevant also for other areas of Soft Matter. In particular, mathematical methods developed to understand the influence of thermal fluctuations on the mechanical properties of bilayer stacks can potentially be translated to describe macroscopic undulating systems such as natural and composite bundles of nearly aligned fibers, as for instance in hair tresses and ponytails, glass or metallic wools. We have recently computed the compression modulus of the fiber stacks combining self-consistent mean-field treatment and numerical simulations in two dimensions. We have also investigated both experimentally and numerically the compression law of fiber bundles of various fiber systems combining both mechanical measurement and image analysis of the shape of the fibers.

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See also The role of shape disorder in the collective behaviour of aligned fibrous matter