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Issue 38, 2019
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Active matter invasion

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Biologically active materials such as bacterial biofilms and eukaryotic cells thrive in confined micro-spaces. Here, we show through numerical simulations that confinement can serve as a mechanical guidance to achieve distinct modes of collective invasion when combined with growth dynamics and the intrinsic activity of biological materials. We assess the dynamics of the growing interface and classify these collective modes of invasion based on the activity of the constituent particles of the growing matter. While at small and moderate activities the active material grows as a coherent unit, we find that blobs of active material collectively detach from the cohort above a well-defined activity threshold. We further characterise the mechanical mechanisms underlying the crossovers between different modes of invasion and quantify their impact on the overall invasion speed.

Graphical abstract: Active matter invasion

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Publication details

The article was received on 17 Jun 2019, accepted on 23 Jul 2019 and first published on 27 Aug 2019

Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C9SM01210A
Soft Matter, 2019,15, 7538-7546

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    Active matter invasion

    F. Kempf, R. Mueller, E. Frey, J. M. Yeomans and A. Doostmohammadi, Soft Matter, 2019, 15, 7538
    DOI: 10.1039/C9SM01210A

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