Dynamics and mechanics of motor-filament systems
Max-Planck-Institut für Physik komplexer Systeme, Nöthnitzerstr. 38, 01187, Dresden, Germany
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Accepted: 14 August 2006
Published online: 5 September 2006
Motivated by the cytoskeleton of eukaryotic cells, we develop a general framework for describing the large-scale dynamics of an active filament network. In the cytoskeleton, active cross-links are formed by motor proteins that are able to induce relative motion between filaments. Starting from pair-wise interactions of filaments via such active processes, our framework is based on momentum conservation and an analysis of the momentum flux. This allows us to calculate the stresses in the filament network generated by the action of motor proteins. We derive effective theories for the filament dynamics which can be related to continuum theories of active polar gels. As an example, we discuss the stability of homogenous isotropic filament distributions in two spatial dimensions.
PACS: 87.16.Ka Filaments, microtubules, their networks, and supramolecular assemblies – / 87.16.Nn Motor proteins (myosin, kinesin dynein) – / 87.16.-b Subcellular structure and processes –
© EDP Sciences, Società Italiana di Fisica and Springer-Verlag, 2006