, 35:89,
Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.
Date: 25 Sep 2012

Active chiral fluids

Abstract

Active processes in biological systems often exhibit chiral asymmetries. Examples are the chirality of cytoskeletal filaments which interact with motor proteins, the chirality of the beat of cilia and flagella as well as the helical trajectories of many biological microswimmers. Here, we derive constitutive material equations for active fluids which account for the effects of active chiral processes. We identify active contributions to the antisymmetric part of the stress as well as active angular momentum fluxes. We discuss four types of elementary chiral motors and their effects on a surrounding fluid. We show that large-scale chiral flows can result from the collective behavior of such motors even in cases where isolated motors do not create a hydrodynamic far field.

This article is published with open access at Springerlink.com