Juan Luis Aragones has been recently interview by “La Razón” about his “la Caixa – Junior Leader” project and the research line of his group at IFIMAC. He joined the IFIMAC in May 2017 through a “Doctor Banco Santander – Maria de Maeztu” fellowship to work on the self-assembly of anisotropic particles under non-equilibrium conditions. IFIMAC supported him as a young group leader, allowing him to establish his group and current research line. Then, in May 2018 he was awarded with the “la Caixa – Junior Leader” fellowship to carry out the project entitled “Locomotion of artificial systems in complex environments” and object of this interview.
In his group they are interested in the development of locomotion strategies for microscopic artificial machines within complex environments. They are considering systems composed by motile elements within solid substrates such as polymeric matrices, whose complex nature enables switching from fluid to solid rheological behaviors as a function of the dynamics of the motile elements. This research line is pushing them towards biological challenges, where complex substrates are ubiquitous, playing a pivotal role on many vital processes such as tissue remodeling, immune response and cell communication. Inspired by nature, specifically by the movement of cells in complex media, they use a synergistic combination of experimental and numerical methods to extract general design rules about their motion. His research group is formed by two PhD students, Raul Martinez Fernandez and Berta Tinao, and two undergraduate students, Paula Magrinya and Fernando Chacon.