Simon Hadjaje

Drosophila wing expansion for soft robotic application

Team: Joël Marthelot (IUSTI) - Raphaël Clément (IBDM) - Yoël Forterre (IUSTI)

His background

September 2020 - present | CENTURI PhD student

2013 - 2015 | MSc degree - iCFP Soft Matter and Biological Physics, ENS Paris

2016 - 2018 | BScand MSc degree in Physics (Phytem) - ENS Paris-Saclay & Pierre and Marie Curie University (France)

2013 - 2016 | Preparatory classes - Marcelin Berthelot High school, Saint Maur (France)

About his PhD project

When an insect emerges from its pupae, its wings expand in a couple of minutes, prompted by the injection of hemolymph in a network of folded veins1-3. This rapid deployment exceeds our best engineering designs. The main goal of the project is to characterize the wing expansion in Drosophila, to develop a fundamental understanding of the underlying physical mechanisms in order to describe the fluid-structure interaction between the hemolymph injection and the deformation of the vein network and explain how the inflation of an individual vein, organized in a network, guides the expansion of a structure. The objective of the project is twofold: to understand the natural process through a biomechanics description on the one hand and to transfer the biological observation to prototypes on the other hand, opening the door for soft robotic application4-7 from compliant medical devices to deployable wings for ultra light drones.