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Stirring a fluid at low Reynolds numbers: Hydrodynamic collective effects of active proteins in biological cells

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Mikhailov,  Alexander S.
Physical Chemistry, Fritz Haber Institute, Max Planck Society;
Department of Mathematical and Life Sciences, Hiroshima University;

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Citation

Kapral, R., & Mikhailov, A. S. (2016). Stirring a fluid at low Reynolds numbers: Hydrodynamic collective effects of active proteins in biological cells. Physica D, 318-319, 100-104. doi:10.1016/j.physd.2015.10.024.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-002A-24BC-A
Abstract
Most of the proteins in the cell, including not only molecular motors and machines, but also enzymes, are active. When ATP or other substrates are supplied, these macromolecules cyclically change their conformations. Therefore, they mechanically stir the cytoplasm and nucleoplasm, so that non-thermal fluctuating flows are produced. As we have recently shown (Mikhailov and Kapral, 2015), stochastic advection by such flows might lead to substantial diffusion enhancement of particles inside a living cell. Additionally, when gradients in the concentrations of active particles or in the ATP/substrate supply are present, chemotaxis-like drift should take place. Here, the motion of passive tracers with various sizes in a mixture of different kinds of active proteins is analyzed. Moreover, effects of hydrodynamic interactions on the motion of active proteins are explored. Theoretical results are compared with available experimental data for ATP-dependent diffusion of natural and microinjected particles in biological cells.