Complex self-propelled rings: a minimal model for cell motility†
Collective behavior of active matter is observed for self-propelled particles, such as vibrated disks and active Brownian particles, as well as for cytoskeletal filaments in motile cells. Here, a system of quasi two-dimensional penetrable self-propelled rods inside rigid rings is used to construct a complex self-propelled particle. The rods interact sterically with each other and with a stationary or mobile ring via a separation-shifted Lennard-Jones potential. They either have a sliding attachment to the inside of the ring at one of their ends, or can move freely within the ring confinement. We study the inner structure and dynamics of the mobile self-propelled rings. We find that these complex particles cannot only be characterized as active Brownian particles, but can also exhibit cell-like motility: random walks, persistent motion, circling, and run-and-circle motion.