Rheology is a branch of physics concerned with the study of the flow and change of shape of soft materials, which when deformed usually exhibit a combination of elastic, viscous and plastic behaviour.

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News and Comment

  • News and Views |

    Crushing a brittle porous medium such as a box of cereal causes the grains to break up and rearrange themselves. A lattice spring model based on simple physical assumptions gives rise to behaviours that are complex enough to reproduce diverse compaction patterns.

    • Nicolas Vandewalle
    Nature Physics 11, 802–803
  • News and Views |

    The cytoplasm of living cells responds to deformation in much the same way as a water-filled sponge does. This behaviour, although intuitive, is connected to long-standing and unsolved fundamental questions in cell mechanics.

    • Enhua H. Zhou
    • , Fernando D. Martinez
    •  & Jeffrey J. Fredberg
    Nature Materials 12, 184–185
  • News and Views |

    You can run across a swimming pool filled with a mixture of cornflour and water, but you sink if you stand still. Conventional understanding of this phenomenon is now being turned on its head. See Letter p.205

    • Martin van Hecke
    Nature 487, 174–175
  • News and Views |

    Experiments have shown that the physical characteristics of the matrix surrounding a stem cell can affect its behaviour. This picture gets further complicated by studies of stem cells and their differentiated counterparts that show that the cells' own softness also has a clear role in how they respond to stress.

    • Andrew W. Holle
    •  & Adam J. Engler