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Programming Boundary Deformation Patterns in Active Networks

Qu, Zijie and Jiang, Jialong and Lee, Heun Jin and Phillips, Rob and Shadkhoo, Shahriar and Thomson, Matt (2021) Programming Boundary Deformation Patterns in Active Networks. . (Unpublished)

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Active materials take advantage of their internal sources of energy to self-organize in an automated manner. This feature provides a novel opportunity to design micron-scale machines with minimal required control. However, self-organization goes hand in hand with predetermined dynamics that are hardly susceptible to environmental perturbations. Therefore utilizing this feature of active systems requires harnessing and directing the macroscopic dynamics to achieve specific functions; which in turn necessitates understanding the underlying mechanisms of active forces. Here we devise an optical control protocol to engineer the dynamics of active networks composed of microtubules and light-activatable motor proteins. The protocol enables carving activated networks of different shapes, and isolating them from the embedding solution. Studying a large set of shapes, we observe that the active networks contract in a shape-preserving manner that persists over the course of contraction. We formulate a coarse-grained theory and demonstrate that self-similarity of contraction is associated with viscous-like active stresses. These findings help us program the dynamics of the network through manipulating the light intensity in space and time, and maneuver the network into bending in specific directions, as well as temporally alternating directions. Our work improves understanding the active dynamics in contractile networks, and paves a new path towards engineering the dynamics of a large class of active materials.

Item Type:Report or Paper (Discussion Paper)
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URLURL TypeDescription Paper
Phillips, Rob0000-0003-3082-2809
Additional Information:Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0). The authors are grateful to Inna-Marie Strazhnik for making illustrations, and to John Brady, Dominik Schildknecht and Enrique Amaya Perez for useful discussions. MT was supported by Packard Foundation, Rosen Center for Bioengineering, and Heritage Medical Research Institute. RP was supported by NIH grant number 1R35 GM118043-01. RP and MT would like to thank Foundational Questions Institute and Fetzer Franklin Fund through FQXi 1816 for funding the research.
Group:Heritage Medical Research Institute, Rosen Bioengineering Center
Funding AgencyGrant Number
David and Lucile Packard FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Donna and Benjamin M. Rosen Bioengineering CenterUNSPECIFIED
Heritage Medical Research InstituteUNSPECIFIED
NIH1R35 GM118043-01
Foundational Questions Institute (FQXI)FQXi 1816
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20210217-132137942
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:108094
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:18 Feb 2021 18:19
Last Modified:18 Feb 2021 18:19

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