Regensburg 2019 – wissenschaftliches Programm

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DY: Fachverband Dynamik und Statistische Physik

DY 44: Active Matter C (joint session DY/CPP)

DY 44.4: Vortrag

Donnerstag, 4. April 2019, 10:45–11:00, H19

Active liquid crystal shells: stability and dynamics — •Babak Vajdi Hokmabad, Kyle A. Baldwin, Carsten Krüger, Christian Bahr, and Corinna C. Maass — Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-organization

Production of controllable, active microcapsules is of great interest in synthetic biology and microchemistry. Inactive microcapsules, also known as double emulsions or droplet shells, are already widely used as artificial cells, micro-reactors, and in food and drug applications. However, combining activity, stability, and control remains a significant challenge. Using established concepts of active emulsions we have developed a new approach to the problem of encapsulation by using nematic active double emulsions, where a solubilization mechanism induces activity and the molecular nematicity provides stability. We show that using a nematic liquid crystal as the shell material and imposing homeotropic anchoring at both interfaces will result in a nematoelastic force on the internal droplet and act as a topological barrier against the coalescence of the core droplet with the outer phase. We further present a peculiar self-propulsion mode where the interplay of spontaneous symmetry breaking and autochemotaxis results in a "shark-fin meandering" motion of the shell in a 2D-confined geometry and a helical swimming in 3D. This behavior can be controlled or switched off by introducing chemical gradients, topographical guidance or through shell topology variation.

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