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Non-conservative forces and effective temperatures in active polymers

By Davide Loi, Stefano Mossa and Leticia F. Cugliandolo


We follow the dynamics of an ensemble of interacting self-propelled semi-flexible polymers in contact with a thermal bath. We characterize structure and dynamics of the passive system and as a function of the motor activity. We find that the fluctuation-dissipation relation allows for the definition of an effective temperature that is compatible with the results obtained by using a tracer particle as a thermometer. The effective temperature takes a higher value than the temperature of the bath when the effect of the motors is not correlated with the structural rearrangements they induce. Our data are compatible with a dependence upon the square of the motor strength (normalized by the average internal force) and they suggest an intriguing linear dependence on the tracer diffusion constant times the density of the embedding matrix. We show how to use this concept to rationalize experimental results and suggest possible innovative research directions

Topics: Condensed Matter - Soft Condensed Matter, Quantitative Biology - Cell Behavior
Year: 2011
DOI identifier: 10.1039/C1SM05819C
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