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Spontaneous division and motility in active nematic droplets

TitleSpontaneous division and motility in active nematic droplets
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsGiomi, L, DeSimone, A

We investigate the mechanics of an active droplet endowed with internal nematic order and surrounded by an isotropic Newtonian fluid. Using numerical simulations we demonstrate that, due to the interplay between the active stresses and the defective geometry of the nematic director, this system exhibits two of the fundamental functions of living cells: spontaneous division and motility, by means of self-generated hydrodynamic flows. These behaviors can be selectively activated by controlling a single physical parameter, namely, an active variant of the capillary number.


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