413 research outputs found

    Rigidity sensing by stochastic sliding friction

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    The sliding friction force exerted by stochastic linkers interacting with a moving filament is calculated. The elastic properties of the substrate on which the linkers are anchored are shown to strongly influence the friction force. In some cases, the force is maximal for a finite substrate rigidity. Collective effects give rise to a dynamical instability resulting in a stick-slip behaviour, which is substrate-sensitive. The relevance of these results for the motility of crawling cells powered by an actin retrograde flow is discussed.Comment: 6 pages, 4 figure

    Charge Distribution on Annealed Polyelectrolytes

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    We investigate the equilibrium charge distribution along a single annealed polyelectrolyte chain under different conditions. The coupling between the conformation of the chain and the local charge distribution is described for various solvent qualities and salt concentration. In salt free solution, we find a slight charge depletion in the central part of the chain: the charges accumulate at the ends. The effect is less important if salt is added to the solution since the charge inhomogeneity is localized close to the chain ends over a distance of order of the Debye length. In the case of poor solvent conditions we find a different charging of beads and strings in the framework of the necklace model. This inhomogeneity leads to a charge instability and a first order transition between spherical globules and elongated chains.Comment: 20 pages, 4 figure

    Receptor-Mediated Endocytosis of a Cylindrical Nanoparticle in the Presence of Cytoskeleton Substrate

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    Internalization of particles by cells plays a crucial role for adsorbing nutrients and fighting infection. Endocytosis is one of the most important mechanisms of the particles uptake which encompass multiple pathways. Although endocytosis is a complex mechanism involving biochemical signaling and active force generation, the energetic cost associated to the large deformations of the cell membrane wrapping around the foreign particle is an important factor controlling this process, which can be studied using quantitative physical models. Of particular interest is the competition between membrane - cytoskeleton and membrane - target adhesion. Here, we explore the wrapping of a lipid membrane around a long cylindrical object in the presence of a substrate mimicking the cytoskeleton. Using discretization of the Helfrich elastic energy that accounts for the membrane bending rigidity and surface tension, we obtain a wrapping phase diagram as a function of the membrane-cytoskeleton and the membrane-target adhesion energy that includes unwrapped, partially wrapped and fully wrapped states. We provide an analytical expression for the boundary between the different regimes. While the transition to partial wrapping is independent of membrane tension, the transition to full wrapping is very much influenced by membrane tension. We also show that target wrapping may proceed in an asymmetric fashion in the full wrapping regime