Regular Article

The European Physical Journal E

, 36:52

The actin cortex as an active wetting layer

  • J. -F. JoannyAffiliated withPhysico Chimie Curie (Institut Curie, Cnrs UMR 168, UPMC), Institut Curie Centre de Recherche
  • , K. KruseAffiliated withTheoretische Physik, Universität des Saarlandes Email author 
  • , J. ProstAffiliated withPhysico Chimie Curie (Institut Curie, Cnrs UMR 168, UPMC), Institut Curie Centre de RechercheESPCI
  • , S. RamaswamyAffiliated withTIFR Centre for Interdisciplinary Sciences, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research

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Topical Collection
Active Matter

Abstract

Using active gel theory we study theoretically the properties of the cortical actin layer of animal cells. The cortical layer is described as a non-equilibrium wetting film on the cell membrane. The actin density is approximately constant in the layer and jumps to zero at its edge. The layer thickness is determined by the ratio of the polymerization velocity and the depolymerization rate of actin.

Graphical abstract

http://static-content.springer.com/image/art%3A10.1140%2Fepje%2Fi2013-13052-9/MediaObjects/10189_2013_9866_Figa_HTML.gif

Keywords

Topical issue: Active Matter