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Phys Rev Lett. 2006 Sep 15;97(11):118103. Epub 2006 Sep 13.

Isotropic to nematic liquid crystalline phase transition of F-actin varies from continuous to first order.

Author information

1
Department of Physics, Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island 02912, USA.

Abstract

We report that the properties of the isotropic to nematic liquid crystalline phase transition of F-actin depend critically on the average filament length. For average filament lengths longer than 2 microm, we confirm previous findings that the phase transition is continuous in both alignment and concentration. For average filament lengths shorter than 2 microm, we show for the first time a first order transition with a clear discontinuity in both alignment and concentration. Tactoidal droplets of coexisting isotropic and nematic phases, differing in concentration by approximately 30%, form over the course of hours and appear to settle into near equilibrium metastable states.

PMID:
17025933
DOI:
10.1103/PhysRevLett.97.118103
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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