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Cell motility due to active gel flows

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Mathematical Modelling and Analysis of Complex Fluids and Active Media in Evolving Domains

The cell cytoskeleton, consisting of filaments and molecular motors (such as actomyosin), can be modelled as a polar or nematic active gel. Here a cell embedded in a surrounding medium is modelled as a drop of active gel. Motility of the model cell depends on flows of the contractile active gel. I will present analytical calculations of velocity fields for different polarisation fields and boundary conditions in two and three dimensions. These solutions will be compared to numerical simulations in which the approximations required for analytical tractability are lifted and steady state polarisations and velocities can be found. Generic features of persistent motion will be discussed and comparisons to available experimental data made.

Co-author: Carl Whitfield (University of Sheffield)

This talk is part of the Isaac Newton Institute Seminar Series series.

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