Shear flow of active matter in thin channels

M. Carme Calderer, Dmitry Golovaty, Lingxing Yao, Longhua Zhao

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We study the shear flow of active filaments confined in a thin channel for extensile and contractile fibers. We apply the Ericksen-Leslie equations of liquid crystal flow with an activity source term. The dimensionless form of this system includes the Ericksen, activity, and Reynolds numbers, together with the aspect ratio of the channel, as the main driving parameters. We perform a normal mode stability analysis of the base shear flow. For both types of fibers, we arrive at a comprehensive description of the stability properties and their dependence on the parameters of the system. The transition to unstable frequencies in extensile fibers occurs at a positive threshold value of the activity parameter, whereas for contractile ones a complex behavior is found at low absolute value of the activity number. The latter might be an indication of the biologically relevant plasticity and phase transition issues. In contrast with extensile fibers, flows of contractile ones are also found to be highly sensitive to the Reynolds number. The work on extensile fibers is guided by experiments on active filaments in confined channels and aims at quantifying their findings in the prechaotic regime.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number034607
JournalPhysical Review E
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 17 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
M.C.C. gratefully acknowledges the support of the National Science Foundation through Grants No. DMS-1435372 and No. DMS-DMREF1729589. D.G. acknowledges funding from the National Science Foundation through Grant No. DMS-1729538. L.Y. acknowledges the support of the National Science Foundation Grant No. DMS 1852597.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 American Physical Society.

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article


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