skip to main content
DOE PAGES title logo U.S. Department of Energy
Office of Scientific and Technical Information

Title: Self-organized dynamics and the transition to turbulence of confined active nematics

Abstract

We study how confinement transforms the chaotic dynamics of bulk microtubule-based active nematics into regular spatiotemporal patterns. For weak confinements in disks, multiple continuously nucleating and annihilating topological defects self-organize into persistent circular flows of either handedness. Increasing confinement strength leads to the emergence of distinct dynamics, in which the slow periodic nucleation of topological defects at the boundary is superimposed onto a fast procession of a pair of defects. A defect pair migrates toward the confinement core over multiple rotation cycles, while the associated nematic director field evolves from a distinct double spiral toward a nearly circularly symmetric configuration. The collapse of the defect orbits is punctuated by another boundary-localized nucleation event, that sets up long-term doubly periodic dynamics. Comparing experimental data to a theoretical model of an active nematic reveals that theory captures the fast procession of a pair of + 1 / 2 defects, but not the slow spiral transformation nor the periodic nucleation of defect pairs. Theory also fails to predict the emergence of circular flows in the weak confinement regime. The developed confinement methods are generalized to more complex geometries, providing a robust microfluidic platform for rationally engineering 2D autonomous flows.

Authors:
; ORCiD logo; ; ; ORCiD logo; ;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Brandeis Univ., Waltham, MA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Basic Energy Sciences (BES); National Science Foundation (NSF)
OSTI Identifier:
1496644
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1611422
Grant/Contract Number:  
SC0010432; NSF-MRSEC-1420382; NSF-DMR-1810077
Resource Type:
Published Article
Journal Name:
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Name: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America Journal Volume: 116 Journal Issue: 11; Journal ID: ISSN 0027-8424
Publisher:
National Academy of Sciences
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
72 PHYSICS OF ELEMENTARY PARTICLES AND FIELDS; active matter; liquid crystals; topological defects; pattern formation; self-organization

Citation Formats

Opathalage, Achini, Norton, Michael M., Juniper, Michael P. N., Langeslay, Blake, Aghvami, S. Ali, Fraden, Seth, and Dogic, Zvonimir. Self-organized dynamics and the transition to turbulence of confined active nematics. United States: N. p., 2019. Web. doi:10.1073/pnas.1816733116.
Opathalage, Achini, Norton, Michael M., Juniper, Michael P. N., Langeslay, Blake, Aghvami, S. Ali, Fraden, Seth, & Dogic, Zvonimir. Self-organized dynamics and the transition to turbulence of confined active nematics. United States. doi:10.1073/pnas.1816733116.
Opathalage, Achini, Norton, Michael M., Juniper, Michael P. N., Langeslay, Blake, Aghvami, S. Ali, Fraden, Seth, and Dogic, Zvonimir. Mon . "Self-organized dynamics and the transition to turbulence of confined active nematics". United States. doi:10.1073/pnas.1816733116.
@article{osti_1496644,
title = {Self-organized dynamics and the transition to turbulence of confined active nematics},
author = {Opathalage, Achini and Norton, Michael M. and Juniper, Michael P. N. and Langeslay, Blake and Aghvami, S. Ali and Fraden, Seth and Dogic, Zvonimir},
abstractNote = {We study how confinement transforms the chaotic dynamics of bulk microtubule-based active nematics into regular spatiotemporal patterns. For weak confinements in disks, multiple continuously nucleating and annihilating topological defects self-organize into persistent circular flows of either handedness. Increasing confinement strength leads to the emergence of distinct dynamics, in which the slow periodic nucleation of topological defects at the boundary is superimposed onto a fast procession of a pair of defects. A defect pair migrates toward the confinement core over multiple rotation cycles, while the associated nematic director field evolves from a distinct double spiral toward a nearly circularly symmetric configuration. The collapse of the defect orbits is punctuated by another boundary-localized nucleation event, that sets up long-term doubly periodic dynamics. Comparing experimental data to a theoretical model of an active nematic reveals that theory captures the fast procession of a pair of + 1 / 2 defects, but not the slow spiral transformation nor the periodic nucleation of defect pairs. Theory also fails to predict the emergence of circular flows in the weak confinement regime. The developed confinement methods are generalized to more complex geometries, providing a robust microfluidic platform for rationally engineering 2D autonomous flows.},
doi = {10.1073/pnas.1816733116},
journal = {Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America},
number = 11,
volume = 116,
place = {United States},
year = {2019},
month = {2}
}

Journal Article:
Free Publicly Available Full Text
Publisher's Version of Record
DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1816733116

Citation Metrics:
Cited by: 13 works
Citation information provided by
Web of Science

Save / Share:

Works referenced in this record:

Directed collective motion of bacteria under channel confinement
journal, July 2016


Instabilities and topological defects in active nematics
journal, January 2014

  • Thampi, Sumesh P.; Golestanian, Ramin; Yeomans, Julia M.
  • EPL (Europhysics Letters), Vol. 105, Issue 1
  • DOI: 10.1209/0295-5075/105/18001

Finite particle size drives defect-mediated domain structures in strongly confined colloidal liquid crystals
journal, June 2016

  • Gârlea, Ioana C.; Mulder, Pieter; Alvarado, José
  • Nature Communications, Vol. 7, Issue 1
  • DOI: 10.1038/ncomms12112

Dancing disclinations in confined active nematics
journal, January 2017

  • Shendruk, Tyler N.; Doostmohammadi, Amin; Thijssen, Kristian
  • Soft Matter, Vol. 13, Issue 21
  • DOI: 10.1039/C6SM02310J

Measuring Cohesion between Macromolecular Filaments One Pair at a Time: Depletion-Induced Microtubule Bundling
journal, April 2015


Dynamics and structure of an apolar active suspension in an annulus
journal, November 2017


Hydrodynamics of soft active matter
journal, July 2013


Defect Annihilation and Proliferation in Active Nematics
journal, May 2013


Emergence and Persistence of Collective Cell Migration on Small Circular Micropatterns
journal, June 2015


Emergence of macroscopic directed motion in populations of motile colloids
journal, November 2013

  • Bricard, Antoine; Caussin, Jean-Baptiste; Desreumaux, Nicolas
  • Nature, Vol. 503, Issue 7474
  • DOI: 10.1038/nature12673

Spontaneous motion in hierarchically assembled active matter
journal, November 2012

  • Sanchez, Tim; Chen, Daniel T. N.; DeCamp, Stephen J.
  • Nature, Vol. 491, Issue 7424
  • DOI: 10.1038/nature11591

The interplay between activity and filament flexibility determines the emergent properties of active nematics
journal, January 2019

  • Joshi, Abhijeet; Putzig, Elias; Baskaran, Aparna
  • Soft Matter, Vol. 15, Issue 1
  • DOI: 10.1039/C8SM02202J

Guidance of collective cell migration by substrate geometry
journal, January 2013

  • Doxzen, Kevin; Vedula, Sri Ram Krishna; Leong, Man Chun
  • Integrative Biology, Vol. 5, Issue 8
  • DOI: 10.1039/c3ib40054a

Synchrotron X-ray Diffraction Study of Microtubules Buckling and Bundling under Osmotic Stress: A Probe of Interprotofilament Interactions
journal, November 2004


Topological defects in confined populations of spindle-shaped cells
journal, September 2016

  • Duclos, Guillaume; Erlenkämper, Christoph; Joanny, Jean-François
  • Nature Physics, Vol. 13, Issue 1
  • DOI: 10.1038/nphys3876

The Mechanics and Statistics of Active Matter
journal, August 2010


Control of colloidal placement by modulated molecular orientation in nematic cells
journal, September 2016


Condensation of isolated semi-flexible filaments driven by depletion interactions
journal, August 2009


Taming active turbulence with patterned soft interfaces
journal, September 2017


Hydrodynamic Fluctuations and Instabilities in Ordered Suspensions of Self-Propelled Particles
journal, July 2002


Instabilities, defects, and defect ordering in an overdamped active nematic
journal, January 2016

  • Putzig, Elias; Redner, Gabriel S.; Baskaran, Arvind
  • Soft Matter, Vol. 12, Issue 17
  • DOI: 10.1039/C6SM00268D

Topological colloids
journal, December 2012

  • Senyuk, Bohdan; Liu, Qingkun; He, Sailing
  • Nature, Vol. 493, Issue 7431
  • DOI: 10.1038/nature11710

Confinement Stabilizes a Bacterial Suspension into a Spiral Vortex
journal, June 2013


Cellular chirality arising from the self-organization of the actin cytoskeleton
journal, March 2015

  • Tee, Yee Han; Shemesh, Tom; Thiagarajan, Visalatchi
  • Nature Cell Biology, Vol. 17, Issue 4
  • DOI: 10.1038/ncb3137

Fluid flows created by swimming bacteria drive self-organization in confined suspensions
journal, June 2014

  • Lushi, Enkeleida; Wioland, Hugo; Goldstein, Raymond E.
  • Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Vol. 111, Issue 27
  • DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1405698111

Antipolar ordering of topological defects in active liquid crystals
journal, September 2016


Geometric control of active collective motion
journal, January 2017

  • Theillard, Maxime; Alonso-Matilla, Roberto; Saintillan, David
  • Soft Matter, Vol. 13, Issue 2
  • DOI: 10.1039/C6SM01955B

Curvature-induced defect unbinding and dynamics in active nematic toroids
journal, October 2017

  • Ellis, Perry W.; Pearce, Daniel J. G.; Chang, Ya-Wen
  • Nature Physics, Vol. 14, Issue 1
  • DOI: 10.1038/nphys4276

Orientational order of motile defects in active nematics
journal, August 2015

  • DeCamp, Stephen J.; Redner, Gabriel S.; Baskaran, Aparna
  • Nature Materials, Vol. 14, Issue 11
  • DOI: 10.1038/nmat4387

Solid friction between soft filaments
journal, March 2015

  • Ward, Andrew; Hilitski, Feodor; Schwenger, Walter
  • Nature Materials, Vol. 14, Issue 6
  • DOI: 10.1038/nmat4222

Physical basis of spindle self-organization
journal, December 2014

  • Brugués, Jan; Needleman, Daniel
  • Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Vol. 111, Issue 52
  • DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1409404111

Emergent vortices in populations of colloidal rollers
journal, June 2015

  • Bricard, Antoine; Caussin, Jean-Baptiste; Das, Debasish
  • Nature Communications, Vol. 6, Issue 1
  • DOI: 10.1038/ncomms8470

Living liquid crystals
journal, January 2014

  • Zhou, S.; Sokolov, A.; Lavrentovich, O. D.
  • Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Vol. 111, Issue 4
  • DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1321926111

Long-Lived Giant Number Fluctuations in a Swarming Granular Nematic
journal, July 2007


Analytical structure, dynamics, and coarse graining of a kinetic model of an active fluid
journal, September 2017


The geometry of soft materials: a primer
journal, September 2002


Phase separation and emergent structures in an active nematic fluid
journal, October 2014


Transition from turbulent to coherent flows in confined three-dimensional active fluids
journal, March 2017

  • Wu, Kun-Ta; Hishamunda, Jean Bernard; Chen, Daniel T. N.
  • Science, Vol. 355, Issue 6331
  • DOI: 10.1126/science.aal1979

Statistical properties of autonomous flows in 2D active nematics
journal, January 2019

  • Lemma, Linnea M.; DeCamp, Stephen J.; You, Zhihong
  • Soft Matter, Vol. 15, Issue 15
  • DOI: 10.1039/C8SM01877D

Self-organization of microtubules and motors
journal, September 1997

  • Ndlec, F. J.; Surrey, T.; Maggs, A. C.
  • Nature, Vol. 389, Issue 6648
  • DOI: 10.1038/38532

Pair creation, motion, and annihilation of topological defects in two-dimensional nematic liquid crystals
journal, February 2018


Around the corner: Colloidal assembly and wiring in groovy nematic cells
journal, March 2016


The Dynamics of Microtubule/Motor-Protein Assemblies in Biology and Physics
journal, January 2016


Defect Unbinding in Active Nematics
journal, September 2018


Control of active liquid crystals with a magnetic field
journal, May 2016

  • Guillamat, Pau; Ignés-Mullol, Jordi; Sagués, Francesc
  • Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Vol. 113, Issue 20
  • DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1600339113

Spontaneous Circulation of Confined Active Suspensions
journal, October 2012


Velocity Correlations in an Active Nematic
journal, September 2013


Theory of defect motion in 2D passive and active nematic liquid crystals
journal, January 2019

  • Tang, Xingzhou; Selinger, Jonathan V.
  • Soft Matter, Vol. 15, Issue 4
  • DOI: 10.1039/C8SM01901K

Multiscale Polar Theory of Microtubule and Motor-Protein Assemblies
journal, January 2015


Insensitivity of active nematic liquid crystal dynamics to topological constraints
journal, January 2018