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Igor Aronson

Huck Chair Professor of Biomedical Engineering, Chemistry and Mathematics



218 Hallowell Building

University Park, PA 16802


(814) 867-6260


1982: Gorky State University, Russia, M.Sc. Physics (Honors, Summa Cum Laude)

1987: Academy of Science, Institute of Applied Physics, Gorky, Russia, Ph.D.

Honors and Awards

1982 The Gold Medal, All-Union (USSR) competition of M.Sc. theses

1991 The Wolfson Research Fellowship, Israel

1991 Alexander-von-Humboldt Fellowship, Germany

1993 The Guastello Research Fellowship, Israel

2002 Fellow of American Physical Society

2005 Henry Poincare Invited Professor, Paris, France

2006, 2013 Ville de Paris invited professorship, ESPCI, France

2010 CNRS Scholar, ESPCI, Paris, France

2013 Outstanding Postdoctoral Mentor Award, Argonne National Laboratory

2014 Board of Governors Distinguished Performance Award, University of Chicago/Argonne


Our cross-disciplinary research agenda is at the interface of bioengineering, materials science, applied mathematics, and chemistry.  We are interested in mathematical modeling and experimental characterization of a broad class of active biological and synthetic systems where metabolism and other non-equilibrium processes lead to the onset of self-organization and collective behavior. These active systems are exemplified by interacting self-propelled organisms or synthetic agents, from molecular motors to living bacteria, motile cells, bird flocks and even robotic swarms. Despite the simplicity of individual interactions between the constituents, large assemblies of self-propelled agents exhibit fascinating collective motion. The research ranges from mathematical modeling of cell motility and collective cell migration, experimental and theoretical studies of active biocomposites represented by swimming bacteria and biological liquid crystals, to the design of active ink for 3D printing.


Selected Publications

H-index 43, Sum of the times cited 6700

Kaiser, Andreas, Snezhko, Alexey, and Igor S Aranson, “Flocking Ferromagnetic Colloids”, Science Advances, 3 (2017): e1601469

Ziebert, Falko, and Igor S. Aranson. "Computational approaches to substrate-based cell motility." Nature Partner Journal:  Computational Materials 2 (2016): 16019.

Sokolov, Andrey, and Igor S. Aranson. "Rapid expulsion of microswimmers by a vortical flow." Nature communications 7 (2016): 11114

Tournus, Magali, Arkadz Kirshtein, Leonid V. Berlyand, and Igor S. Aranson. "Flexibility of bacterial flagella in external shear results in complex swimming trajectories." Journal of the Royal Society Interface 12, no. 102 (2015): 20140904.

Löber, Jakob, Falko Ziebert, and Igor S. Aranson. "Collisions of deformable cells lead to collective migration." Scientific reports 5 (2015): 9172.

Kokot, Gasper, David Piet, George M. Whitesides, Igor S. Aranson, and Alexey Snezhko. "Emergence of reconfigurable wires and spinners via dynamic self-assembly." Scientific reports 5 (2015): 9528.

Kaiser, Andreas, Anton Peshkov, Andrey Sokolov, Borge ten Hagen, Hartmut Löwen, and Igor S. Aranson. "Transport powered by bacterial turbulence." Physical review letters 112, no. 15 (2014): 158101.

Zhou, Shuang, Andrey Sokolov, Oleg D. Lavrentovich, and Igor S. Aranson. "Living liquid crystals." Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 111, no. 4 (2014): 1265-1270.

Snezhko, Alexey, and Igor S. Aranson. "Magnetic manipulation of self-assembled colloidal asters." Nature materials 10, no. 9 (2011): 698-703.

Sokolov, Andrey, Mario M. Apodaca, Bartosz A. Grzybowski, and Igor S. Aranson. "Swimming bacteria power microscopic gears." Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 107, no. 3 (2010): 969-974.


Igor S Aranson (ed.),  Physical Models of Cell Motility, Springer-Verlag, 2016

Igor S Aranson and Lev S Tsimring, Granular Patterns, Oxford University Press, 2009


Igor S Aranson and Lorenz Kramer, “The world of the complex Ginzburg-Landau equation”,  Reviews of Modern Physics 74 (2002): 99

Igor S Aranson and Lev S Tsimring, “Patterns and collective behavior in granular media: Theoretical concepts”, Reviews of Modern Physics 78 (2006): 641