SATO KatsuhikoAssociate Professor

Laboratory of Physical Ethology
Research Theme
Active rheology in life; understanding principal mechanisms of biology from a physical point of view
Research Keywords

muscle, epithelial cells, soft matter physics, active matter physics, mathematical models, mechanical models, coupled oscillators, rheology of complex fluids

Overview of Research

Understanding of the mechanisms of various behaviors of simple biological systems by using mathematical models. / Spontaneous behaviors of muscle, cilia and fragella systems. / Collective migration of epithelial cells (morphogenesis) / Rheology of complex fluids.



Biological systems exhibit complex and high functional behaviors; These behaviors must originate from simple natural laws, such as physical laws. However, there seems to be a big gap between the resultant complex behaviors and simple laws. By focusing on the combination between passive elements the components comprising the bioligical system have and active effects, such as active forces generated by molecular motors, we are trying to bridge the gap between simple natural rules and complex biological behaviors.

Representative Publications

Sato K and Umetsu D (2021) A Novel Cell Vertex Model Formulation that Distinguishes the Strength of Contraction Forces and Adhesion at Cell Boundaries. Front. Phys. 9:704878. doi: 10.3389/fphy.2021.704878.

Sato, K., Hiraiwa, T., Maekawa, E., Isomura, A., Shibata, T. & Kuranaga, E.; “Left-right asymmetric cell intercalation drives directional collective cell movement in epithelial morphogenesis”, Nat Commun. 6, 10074 (2015)

Sato, K., Hiraiwa, T. & Shibata, T.; “Cell Chirality Induces Collective Cell Migration in Epithelial Sheets”. Phys Rev Lett. 115, 188102, (2015)

K. Sato, Y. Kuramoto, M. Ohtaki, Y. Shimamoto and S. Ishiwata; “Locally and Globally Coupled Oscillators in Muscle” Phys. Rev. Lett. 111, 108104 (2013)

I. Kunita*, K. Sato*, Y. Tanaka, Y. Takikawa, H. Orihara and T. Nakagaki; “Shear Banding in an F-Actin Solution” Phys. Rev. Lett. 109, 248303 (2012)

Sato, K., Yuan, X.F., and Kawakatsu, T.; “Why Does Shear Banding Behave Like First-Order Phase Transitions?: Derivation of a potential from a mechanical constitutive model” Eur. Phys. J. E, 31, 135-144 (2010)



<Office Hour>
– Time: Anytime during the lecture period
– Place:Research Institute for Electronic Science (RIES) Building, #02-108
Please contact in advance by E-mail.
E-mail: katsuhiko_sato[at]