Vesicle shape transformations driven by confined active filaments

MSE Peterson and A Baskaran and MF Hagan, NATURE COMMUNICATIONS, 12, 7247 (2021).

DOI: 10.1038/s41467-021-27310-8

Systems of confined active filaments within a deformable vesicle are of relevance for development of active materials constructed from anisotropic particles. The authors propose a framework to control the transformations of the vesicle shape and filament organization. In active matter systems, deformable boundaries provide a mechanism to organize internal active stresses. To study a minimal model of such a system, we perform particle-based simulations of an elastic vesicle containing a collection of polar active filaments. The interplay between the active stress organization due to interparticle interactions and that due to the deformability of the confinement leads to a variety of filament spatiotemporal organizations that have not been observed in bulk systems or under rigid confinement, including highly-aligned rings and caps. In turn, these filament assemblies drive dramatic and tunable transformations of the vesicle shape and its dynamics. We present simple scaling models that reveal the mechanisms underlying these emergent behaviors and yield design principles for engineering active materials with targeted shape dynamics.

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