Kinetic theory of pattern formation in mixtures of microtubules and molecular motors

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Abstract / Description of output

In this study we formulate a theoretical approach, based on a Boltzmann-like kinetic equation, to describe pattern formation in two-dimensional mixtures of microtubular filaments and molecular motors. Following the previous work by Aranson and Tsimring [Phys. Rev. E 74, 031915 (2006)PLEEE81539-375510.1103/PhysRevE.74.031915] we model the motor-induced reorientation of microtubules as collision rules, and devise a semianalytical method to calculate the corresponding interaction integrals. This procedure yields an infinite hierarchy of kinetic equations that we terminate by employing a well-established closure strategy, developed in the pattern-formation community and based on a power-counting argument. We thus arrive at a closed set of coupled equations for slowly varying local density and orientation of the microtubules, and study its behavior by performing a linear stability analysis and direct numerical simulations. By comparing our method with the work of Aranson and Tsimring, we assess the validity of the assumptions required to derive their and our theories. We demonstrate that our approximation-free evaluation of the interaction integrals and our choice of a systematic closure strategy result in a rather different dynamical behavior than was previously reported. Based on our theory, we discuss the ensuing phase diagram and the patterns observed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number022412
Number of pages16
JournalPhysical Review E
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 20 Feb 2018

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • Soft Condensed Matter


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