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Active gel segment behaving as an active particle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • P. Recho
  • T. Putelat
  • L. Truskinovsky
Original languageEnglish
Article number062403 (2019)
Number of pages15
JournalPhysical Review E
DateAccepted/In press - 8 Oct 2019
DatePublished (current) - 4 Dec 2019


We reduce a one-dimensional model of an active segment (AS), which is used, for instance, in the description of contraction-driven cell motility, to a zero-dimensional model of an active particle (AP) characterized by two internal degrees of freedom: position and polarity. Both models give rise to hysteretic force-velocity relations showing that an active agent can support two opposite polarities under the same external force and that it can maintain the same polarity while being dragged by external forces with opposite orientations. This double bistability results in a rich dynamic repertoire which we illustrate by studying static, stalled, motile, and periodically repolarizing regimes displayed by an active agent confined in a viscoelastic environment. We show that the AS and AP models can be calibrated to generate quantitatively similar dynamic responses.

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