Onset of Mechanochemical Pattern Formation in Poroviscoelastic Models of Active Cytoplasm
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The cytoplasm of living cells is a complex structure formed by a fluid phase composed by water and small molecules and a second phase composed by the filaments of the cytoskeleton forming a viscoelastic gel. The interaction between the two phases gives rise to a poroviscoelastic structure which combines elastic and viscous responses to external stimuli. On the other hand, the cytoplasm is active, and molecular motors perform active stress. Different molecules regulate the activity of the motors. In the cytoplasm the biochemistry and the mechanics are interconnected, while motors and biochemical regulators are transported by flows in the two phases, the motors produce active stresses into the cytoskeleton and generate active flows. Here, we compare two active poroviscoelastic models with different viscoelastic properties, which can produce oscillations and the polarization of a living cell. The main features of the different mechanisms of pattern formation are studied by linear stability analysis of the homogeneous steady state and by numerical simulations.
I acknowledge fruitful discussions with Markus Bär, Markus Radszuweit, Harald Engel and Marcus J.B. Hauser. I thank financial support by MINECO of Spain under the Ramon y Cajal program with the grant number RYC-2012-11265 and FIS2014-55365-P.
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