Send to

Choose Destination
Nat Commun. 2013;4:3013. doi: 10.1038/ncomms4013.

Topological structure dynamics revealing collective evolution in active nematics.

Author information

1] Center for Soft Condensed Matter Physics and Interdisciplinary Research, Soochow University, Suzhou 215006, China [2] National Laboratory of Solid State Microstructures and Department of Physics, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210093, China.


Topological defects frequently emerge in active matter like bacterial colonies, cytoskeleton extracts on substrates, self-propelled granular or colloidal layers and so on, but their dynamical properties and the relations to large-scale organization and fluctuations in these active systems are seldom touched. Here we reveal, through a simple model for active nematics using self-driven hard elliptic rods, that the excitation, annihilation and transportation of topological defects differ markedly from those in non-active media. These dynamical processes exhibit strong irreversibility in active nematics in the absence of detailed balance. Moreover, topological defects are the key factors in organizing large-scale dynamic structures and collective flows, resulting in multi-spatial temporal effects. These findings allow us to control the self-organization of active matter through topological structures.

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Nature Publishing Group Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center