Associate Professor Yuan-Nan Young, who was trained as a physicist and is now an applied mathematician in the department of mathematical sciences, focuses his highly-interdisciplinary research on fluid-structure interaction in biophysics and biology and how such interactions lead to novel dynamics and applications in the world of complex fluids.
In biology, both the mechanical and chemical aspects of fluid and cell interactions are essential to proper biological functioning. Young’s research examines the mechanical aspects by treating the cell as an elastic structure immersed in fluid.
Young also studies the properties of complex fluids, such as blood, where particles are suspended in fluids. To better understand how complex fluids behave, he first determines the microscopic particle dynamics and then predicts suspension’s macroscopic properties.
His newest project, a three-year $212,000 National Science Foundation (NSF) grant, awarded in September of 2012, will mathematically model how surfactants and proteins interact with the skin’s lipid bi-layer. Other work includes modeling the primary cilium under flow and modeling red blood cells infected with malaria. Through 2013, he is also a co-principal investigator on another three-year NSF grant: Numerical methods and analysis for interfacial fluid flow with soluble surfactant.
Three notable peer-reviewed publications have recently carried his work: “Dynamics of the Primary Cilium in Shear Flow” appeared in Biophysical Journal (vol. 103, issue 4, 2012). “Dynamics of a Compound Vesicle in Shear Flow” was published in Physical Review Letters, volume 106, 158103, 2011. “Dynamics of a non-Spherical Microcapsule with Incompressible Interface in Shear Flow” can be found in the Journal of Fluid Mechanics, volume 678, 2011.
Young received his doctorate from University of Chicago.
Last update: Sept. 28, 2012
Topics: mathematical models, fluid-structure interaction, biological functioning, complex fluids