Elasticity-induced force reversal between active spinning particles in dense passive media

TitleElasticity-induced force reversal between active spinning particles in dense passive media
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2016
AuthorsAragones, JL, Steimel, JP, Alexander-Katz, A
JournalNature Communications
Date Published2016/04//
ISBN Number2041-1723
Keywordsbiofilms, collective cell-migration, dynamics, flow, fluid, glass, motion, phase-separation, sphere, suspensions

The self-organization of active particles is governed by their dynamic effective interactions. Such interactions are controlled by the medium in which such active agents reside. Here we study the interactions between active agents in a dense non-active medium. Our system consists of actuated, spinning, active particles embedded in a dense monolayer of passive, or non-active, particles. We demonstrate that the presence of the passive monolayer alters markedly the properties of the system and results in a reversal of the forces between active spinning particles from repulsive to attractive. The origin of such reversal is due to the coupling between the active stresses and elasticity of the system. This discovery provides a mechanism for the interaction between active agents in complex and structured media, opening up opportunities to tune the interaction range and directionality via the mechanical properties of the medium.

Short TitleNat. Commun.