Modelling soft active materials

Condensed Matter lunchtime seminar

Modelling soft active materials

Event details

Soft biological materials like cytoskeletal gels, cell extracts and actomyosin solutions are often challenging to model as they continuously burn energy e.g. in the form of ATP, and this drives them out of equilibrium even in steady state. I will focus on two particular examples of such soft active matter. First I will present 3-dimensional dynamic Monte-Carlo simulations of the propulsion of a colloidal obstacle via the polymerisation of an actin comet (see e.g. movies in http://www.lebs.cnrs-gif.fr/carlier/movies.html). Then I will introduce a lattice Boltzmann method to simulate the equations of motion of an active gel or active liquid crystal (a coarser continuum description which holds e.g. for a solution of microtubules and molecular motors). I will show that an active gel can sustain spontaneous flow in steady state, and if time permits I will discuss some preliminary numerical studies on its rheological properties

About Condensed Matter lunchtime seminars

This is a weekly series of informal talks given primarily by members of the soft condensed matter and statistical mechanics groups, but is also open to members of other groups and external visitors. The aim of the series is to promote discussion and learning of various topics at a level suitable to the broad background of the group. Everyone is welcome to attend..

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