Volume 128, Number 4, November 2019
|Number of page(s)||7|
|Published online||24 January 2020|
Diffusion in crowded colloids of particles cyclically changing their shapes
1 Department of Physics, Tohoku University - 6-3, Aoba, Aramaki, Aoba-ku, Sendai 980-8578, Japan
2 Department of Physics, Chiba University - 1-33 Yayoi-cho, Inage-ku, Chiba 263-8522, Japan
3 WPI Nano Life Science Institute, Kanazawa University - Kakuma-machi, Kanazawa 920-1192, Japan
4 Abteilung Physikalische Chemie, Fritz-Haber-Institut der Max-Planck-Gesellschaft - Faradayweg 4-6, 14195 Berlin, Germany
Received: 11 September 2019
Accepted: 25 November 2019
A simple model of an active colloid consisting of dumbbell-shaped particles that cyclically change their length without propelling themselves is proposed and analyzed. At nanoscales, it represents an idealization for bacterial cytoplasm or for a biomembrane with active protein inclusions. Our numerical simulations demonstrate that non-equilibrium conformational activity of particles can strongly affect diffusion and structural relaxation: while a passive colloid behaves as a glass, it gets progressively fluidized when the activity is turned on. Qualitatively, this agrees with experimental results on optical tracking of probe particles in bacterial and yeast cells where metabolism-induced fluidization of cytoplasm was observed.
PACS: 05.40.-a – Fluctuation phenomena, random processes, noise, and Brownian motion / 82.70.Dd – Colloids / 87.18.Tt – Noise in biological systems
© EPLA, 2020
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