Topology and dynamics of active nematic vesicles

Felix C. Keber, Etienne Loiseau, Tim Sanchez, Stephen J. DeCamp, Luca Giomi, Mark J. Bowick, M. Cristina Marchetti, Zvonimir Dogic, Andreas R. Bausch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

253 Scopus citations

Abstract

Engineering synthetic materials that mimic the remarkable complexity of living organisms is a fundamental challenge in science and technology. We studied the spatiotemporal patterns that emerge when an active nematic film of microtubules and molecular motors is encapsulated within a shape-changing lipid vesicle. Unlike in equilibrium systems, where defects are largely static structures, in active nematics defects move spontaneously and can be described as self-propelled particles. The combination of activity, topological constraints, and vesicle deformability produces a myriad of dynamical states. We highlight two dynamical modes: a tunable periodic state that oscillates between two defect configurations, and shape-changing vesicles with streaming filopodia-like protrusions. These results demonstrate how biomimetic materials can be obtained when topological constraints are used to control the non-equilibrium dynamics of active matter.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1135-1139
Number of pages5
JournalScience
Volume345
Issue number6201
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 5 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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