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Spatiotemporal Control of Active Materials

IRG2 represents an ambitious effort to understand, design, and synthesize materials containing distributed molecular elements that convert chemical energy into mechanical work.  Drawing on the myriad ways that biological systems have evolved to construct materials with specific responses to applied stimuli, this IRG aspires to achieve control of active materials and ultimately to create novel molecular assemblies for robust tunable shape change.  Success of this IRG would result in the identification of minimal combinations of elements capable of programmable amorphous shape changes, autonomous movement and collective behavior, and such a material could be tailored to environments and situations beyond the reach of biological systems.