The European Physical Journal E

, 35:119

Nano-swimmers in biological membranes and propulsion hydrodynamics in two dimensions

  • Mu-Jie Huang
  • Hsuan-Yi Chen
  • Alexander S. Mikhailov
Regular Article

DOI: 10.1140/epje/i2012-12119-5

Cite this article as:
Huang, MJ., Chen, HY. & Mikhailov, A.S. Eur. Phys. J. E (2012) 35: 119. doi:10.1140/epje/i2012-12119-5
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Active Matter


Active protein inclusions in biological membranes can represent nano-swimmers and propel themselves in lipid bilayers. A simple model of an active inclusion with three particles (domains) connected by variable elastic links is considered. First, the membrane is modeled as a two-dimensional viscous fluid and propulsion behavior in two dimensions is examined. After that, an example of a microscopic dynamical simulation is presented, where the lipid bilayer structure of the membrane is resolved and the solvent effects are included by multiparticle collision dynamics. Statistical analysis of data reveals ballistic motion of the swimmer, in contrast to the classical diffusion behavior found in the absence of active transitions between the states.

Graphical abstract


Regular Article - Topical issue: Active Matter 

Supplementary material

Supplementary material

Copyright information

© EDP Sciences, SIF, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mu-Jie Huang
    • 1
  • Hsuan-Yi Chen
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Alexander S. Mikhailov
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of PhysicsNational Central UniversityJhongliTaiwan
  2. 2.Institute of PhysicsAcademia SinicaTaipeiTaiwan
  3. 3.Physics DivisionNational Center for Theoretical SciencesHsinchuTaiwan
  4. 4.Abteilung Physikalische ChemieFritz-Haber-Institut der Max-Planck-GesellschaftBerlinGermany

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