Anomalous dynamics of an elastic membrane in an active fluid

S. A. Mallory, C. Valeriani, A. Cacciuto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Using numerical simulations, we characterized the behavior of an elastic membrane immersed in an active fluid. Our findings reveal a nontrivial folding and re-expansion of the membrane that is controlled by the interplay of its resistance to bending and the self-propulsion strength of the active components in solution. We show how flexible membranes tend to collapse into multifolded states, whereas stiff membranes fluctuate between an extended configuration and a singly folded state. This study provides a simple example of how to exploit the random motion of active particles to perform mechanical work at the microscale.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number012314
JournalPhysical Review E - Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 20 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
  • Statistics and Probability
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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