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Published May 2023 | Supplemental Material + Published
Journal Article Open

Spatio-temporal patterning of extensile active stresses in microtubule-based active fluids


Microtubule-based active fluids exhibit turbulent-like autonomous flows, which are driven by the molecular motor powered motion of filamentous constituents. Controlling active stresses in space and time is an essential prerequisite for controlling the intrinsically chaotic dynamics of extensile active fluids. We design single-headed kinesin molecular motors that exhibit optically enhanced clustering and thus enable precise and repeatable spatial and temporal control of extensile active stresses. Such motors enable rapid, reversible switching between flowing and quiescent states. In turn, spatio-temporal patterning of the active stress controls the evolution of the ubiquitous bend instability of extensile active fluids and determines its critical length dependence. Combining optically controlled clusters with conventional kinesin motors enables one-time switching from contractile to extensile active stresses. These results open a path towards real-time control of the autonomous flows generated by active fluids.

Additional Information

© The Author(s) 2023. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of National Academy of Sciences. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted reuse, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. We acknowledge useful discussions with Seth Fraden. We thank Claire E. Walczak and Stephanie C. Ems-McClung for the gift of kinesin-14 protein. We thank Bezia Lemma for help with kinesin-14 experiments. This work was primary supported by the Department of Energy (DOE) DE-SC0022291. Biochemical portion of this work was supported by the Brandeis Center for Bioinspired Soft Materials, an NSF MRSEC (DMR-2011846). We also acknowledge the use of a MRSEC optical and biosynthesis facility supported by NSF-MRSEC-2011846, the use of the NRI-MCDB Microscopy Facility at UCSB supported by NSF-MRI grant 1625770. Authors' contribution. L.M.L. and Z.D. conceived the experiments; L.M.L. and T.D.R. conducted experiments; M.V. and A.B. created the hydrodynamic model; L.M.L. and M.V. performed data analysis; M.T., A.B. and Z.D supervised the project; all authors wrote and reviewed the manuscript. Data availability. Data is available from https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.83bk3j9vh.

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Supplemental Material - pgad130_supplementary_data.zip


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August 20, 2023
December 22, 2023