Monday, July 15, 2013

1307.3426 (Carl A. Whitfield et al.)

Active polar fluid flow in finite droplets: modelling cell motility    [PDF]

Carl A. Whitfield, Davide Marenduzzo, Raphaël Voituriez, Rhoda J. Hawkins
We present an analytical model of the cell actin cytoskeleton as a finite droplet of polar active matter. Using hydrodynamic theory, we calculate the steady state flows that result from a splayed polarisation of the actin filaments. We relate this to a spherical cell embedded in a 3D environment by imposing a viscous friction at the fixed droplet boundary. We show that the droplet has non-zero force dipole and quadrupole moments, the latter of which is essential for self-propelled motion of the droplet at low Reynolds' number. Therefore, our model describes a simple mechanism for cell motility in a 3D environment. Our analytical results predict how the system depends on various parameters such as the effective friction coefficient, the phenomenological activity parameter and the splay of the imposed polarisation.
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