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INdAM Fellowship Programs in Mathematics and/or Applications cofunded by Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions

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Giuseppe Zurlo

INdAM-COFUND Outgoing fellow between 2012-11-01 and 2014-10-31

Project information


MORPHOMECH: Morphogenesis as a Sequence of Mechanical Instabilities

Outgoing host organisation                                 Return host organisation

Laboratoire de Mecanique des Solides                        Dipartimento di Scienze dell’€™Ingegneria
CNRS UMR 7649                                                              Civile e dell’€™Architettura
Ecole Polytechnique                                                         Politecnico di Bari

Route de Saclay                                                               Via Orabona, 4
91128 Palaiseau, France                                                 70125 Bari, Italy                    


Morphogenesis, the emergence of organismal form, isone of the major unsolved issues in developmental biology. How
initially identical cells organize and differentiate, by forming tissues endowed of specific shape and functionality, is a fundamental topic both toward the comprehension of the fascinating mechanisms of Life, but also toward the understanding of anomalous growth processes leading to developmental defects and diseases, such as cancer: an increased knowledge of these growth mechanisms will improve our chances of reversing these defects by correcting abnormal growth conditions.

A ubiquitous motif in morphogenesis is segmentation, the repetitive division of the body axis in modular units. In
vertebrates, segmentation originates in early embryogenesis by the formation of somites, blocks of tissue which are formed periodically on both sides of the neural tube. This and other types of morphogenetic examples will be studied in this project, with the target to show that the morphological pattern emerges as the result of self-organization process where mechanics plays a major role.

Fellow information

Research interests

Non-linear elasticity; Continuum Mechanics;
Biomechanics; Electroelasticity; Condensed and Soft Matter.

Previous positions, awards

  • 2007-2012: Post Doctoral Research Fellowshpis, Politecnico di Bari
  • 2003-2006: PhD in Structural Engineering, Università di Pisa

Publications, preprints, other works

  1. Deseri L, Piccioni M.D., Zurlo G., Derivation of a new free energy for biological membranes, Continuum Mechanics and Thermodynamics (2008), vol. 20 (5), p. 255-273, ISSN: 0935-1175; DOI:10.1007/s00161-008-0081-1
  2. Deseri L., Marcari G., Zurlo G., Chapter 5 – Thermodynamics, in: Continuum Mechanics, edited by J. Merodio and G. Saccomandi, in
    Encyclopedia of Life Support Systems (EOLSS), Developed under the
    Auspices of the UNESCO, Eolss Publishers, Oxford, UK, (2008)
  3. De Tommasi D., Marzano S., Puglisi G., Zurlo G., Damage and healing effects in rubber-like balloons, International Journal of Solids and Structures, vol. 46, p. 3999-4005, ISSN: 0020-7683 (2009); DOI:10.1016/j.ijsolstr.2009.07.020
  4. De Tommasi D., Puglisi G., Saccomandi G., Zurlo G., Pull-in and wrinkling instabilities of electroactive dielectric actuators, Journal of Physics D: Applied Physics, vol. 43, ISSN: 1361-6463 (2010); DOI:10.1088/0022-3727/43/32/325501
  5. De Tommasi D., Puglisi G., Zurlo G., Compression-induced failure of electroactive polymeric thin films, Applied Physics Letters, vol. 98, ISSN: 1077-3118 (2011); DOI:10.1063/1.3568885
  6. De Tommasi D., Puglisi G., Zurlo G., Taut states of dielectric elastomer membranes, International Journal of Non-Linear Mechanics, 47(2), 355-361 (2012), ISSN: 0020-7462; DOI:10.1016/j.ijnonlinmec.2011.08.002
  7. De Tommasi D., Puglisi G., Zurlo G., A note on strong ellipticity in two-dimensional isotropic elasticity, J Elast, 109, 67-74 (2012); DOI:10.1007/s10659-011-9370-1
  8. De Tommasi D., Puglisi G., Zurlo G., Inhomogeneous spherical configurations of inflated membranes, Continuum Mechanics and Thermodynamics, 25, 197-206; DOI:10.1007/s00161-012-0240-2
  9. Puglisi G., Zurlo G., Electric field localizations in thin dielectric films with thickness nonuniformities, J. Electrostatics, vol. 70 (2012); DOI:10.1016/j.elstat.2012.03.012
  10. De Tommasi D., Puglisi G., Zurlo G., Electromechanical instability and oscillating deformations in electroactive polymer films, Applied Physics Letters, vol.102, 011903 (2013); DOI:10.1063/1.4772956
  11. Deseri L., Zurlo G., The stretching elasticity of biomembranes determines their line tension and bending rigidity, Biomech. Model. Mechanobiol. (2013); DOI:10.1007/s10237-013-0478-z
  12. Zurlo G., Nonlocal elastic effects in electroactive polymers, International Journal of Non-Linear Mechanics, 56, 112-€“122 (2013); DOI:10.1016/j.ijnonlinmec.2013.05.003
  13. De Tommasi D., Puglisi G., Zurlo G., Inhomogeneous deformations and pull-in instability in electroactive polymeric films, International Journal of Non-Linear Mechanics, 57, 123-129 (2013)
  14. De Tommasi D., Puglisi G., Zurlo G., The role of surface coating in the inhomogeneous pull-in failure of linear EAPs, submitted (2013)

Conferences, schools, other events

  • XXIX Summer School of Mathematical Physics, GNFM
    Ravello, 6-18 September 2004
  • SNP (Society for Natural Phylosophy) meeting, “Theories of microstructures and defects”
    Polignano a Mare (BA), 8-10 October 2005
  • Phase transitions in biological membranes (L. Deseri , R. Paroni, G. Zurlo)
    Talk delivered at Nano-Brixen 2007 (Modeling and computational methods in fluid dynamics and material science: towards the challenge of the nanoscales)
    Bressanone (Italy), 19-22 December 2007
  • CISM Course, Classical and Advanced Theories of Thin Structures: Mechanical and Mathematical Aspects
    Udine, Italy, September 2008
  • On the free energy of liposomes (L. Deseri, R. Paroni, M.D. Piccioni, G. Zurlo)
    Talk delivered at XVIII AIMETA Congress
    Brescia (Italy), June 2008
  • Damage models for polymeric materials (D. De Tommasi, S. Marzano, G. Puglisi, G. Zurlo)
    Talk delivered at AGS’08 (Advances in Geomaterials and Structures), ISBN / 978-9973-0-0299-0
    Hammamet (Tunisia), June 2008
  • Damage in rubber-like balloons (D. De Tommasi, S. Marzano, G. Puglisi, G. Zurlo)
    Talk delivered at Mathematical Modelling in Structured Media and Applications, in occasion of Professor David R. Owen’s 65th birthday
    Termoli (Italy), 14 July, 2008
  • PhD Thesis presentation
    Talk delivered at 1st International Meeting of Young Researchers on Modeling of Materials and Structures (MMS-MYR), Laboratory of Structural Mechanics of the University of Salerno, Scientific Commitee: Prof. Maurizio Angelillo, Prof. Antonio DeSimone
    Salerno (Italy), 13-15 October, 2008
  • PhD Short Course, Topics in classical and multiscale nonlinear elasticity: Theoretical and numerical problems
    University of Trento, March 2009
  • Wrinkling and pull-in instabilities of electro-active polymeric films (D. De Tommasi, S. Marzano, G. Puglisi, G. Saccomandi, G. Zurlo)
    Talk delivered at AGS’10 (Advances in Geomaterials and Structures)
    Djerba (Tunisia), June 2010
  • Damage and healing effects in rubber-like balloons (D. De Tommasi, S. Marzano, G. Puglisi, G. Zurlo)
    Talk delivered at XIX AIMETA Congress
    Ancona (Italy), September 2009
  • Damage, Localization and Stability in Electroactive Polymers (D. De Tommasi, G. Puglisi, G. Saccomandi, G. Zurlo)
    Talk delivered at Eur. Sol. Mech. Conf. (ESMC)
    Lisbon (Portugal), September 7-11 2009
  • Instabilities of electroactive polymeric membranes (D. De Tommasi, G. Puglisi, G. Zurlo)
    Talk delivered at GMA-AIMETA Meeting
    Lucca (Italy), 12-13 April 2012
  • Damage and Shape Transitions in Spherical Membranes (D. De Tommasi, G. Puglisi, G. Zurlo)
    Talk delivered at European Solid Mechanics Conference (ESMC)
    Graz (Austria), July 9-12 2012
  • Inhomogeneous Pull-in in Dielectric Thin Films (D. De Tommasi, G. Puglisi, G. Zurlo)
    Talk delivered at European Solid Mechanics Conference (ESMC)
    Graz (Austria), July 9-12 2012
  • Energetic approaches for the analysis of instabilities in EAPs
    Talk delivered at Institut Jean Le Rond d’Alembert
    UPMC-Université Pierre et Marie Curie, CNRS (UMR 7190), France, July 9 2013
  • Hysteretic electromechanical behavior of electroactive polymeric films
    Talk delivered at XXI CONGRESSO AIMETA
    Torino, Italy, September 18, 2013
  • Damage, hysteresis and localization effects in
    electroactive polymeric thin films

    Talk delivered at Laboratoire de Mecanique des Solides CNRS UMR 7649, Ecole Polytechnique
    Paris, France, September 26, 2013

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