Supplementary material from "Active beating modes of two clamped filaments driven by molecular motors"

Posted on 23.06.2022 - 14:56
Biological cilia pump the surrounding fluid by asymmetric beating that is driven by dynein motors between sliding microtubule doublets. The complexity of biological cilia raises the question about minimal systems that can re-create similar patterns of motion. One such system consists of a pair of microtubules that are clamped at the proximal end. They interact through dynein motors that cover one of the filaments and pull against the other one. Here, we study theoretically the static shapes and the active dynamics of such a system. Using the theory of elastica, we analyse the shapes of two filaments of different lengths with clamped ends. Starting from equal lengths, we observe a transition similar to Euler buckling leading to a planar shape. When further increasing the length ratio, the system assumes a non-planar shape with spontaneously broken chiral symmetry after a secondary bifurcation and then transitions to planar again. The predicted curves agree with experimentally observed shapes of microtubule pairs. The dynamical system can have a stable fixed point, with either bent or straight filaments, or limit cycle oscillations. The latter match many properties of ciliary motility, demonstrating that a two-filament system can serve as a minimal actively beating model.

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Collesano, Laura; Guido, Isabella; Golestanian, Ramin; Vilfan, Andrej (2022): Supplementary material from "Active beating modes of two clamped filaments driven by molecular motors". The Royal Society. Collection. https://doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.c.6061183.v1
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