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Lattice Boltzmann simulations of spontaneous flow in active liquid crystals: The role of boundary conditions

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)56-62
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of non-Newtonian fluid mechanics
Issue number1-3
Publication statusPublished - 15 Feb 2008


Active liquid crystals or active gels are soft materials which can be physically realised, e.g. by preparing a solution of cytoskeletal filaments interacting with molecular motors. We study the hydrodynamics of an active liquid crystal in a slab-like geometry with various boundary conditions, by solving numerically its equations of motion via lattice Boltzmann simulations. In all cases we find that active liquid crystals can sustain spontaneous flow in steady state contrarily to their passive counterparts, and in agreement with recent theoretical predictions. We further find that conflicting anchoring conditions at the boundaries lead to spontaneous flow for any non-zero value of the 'activity' parameter, while with unfrustrated anchoring at all boundaries spontaneous flow only occurs when the activity exceeds a critical threshold. We finally discuss the dynamic pathway leading to steady state in a few selected cases. (c) 2007 Elsevier B.V. All fights reserved.

    Research areas

  • active liquid crystals, lattice Boltzmann, anchoring conditions, activity parameter, POLAR GELS

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