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Title: Bending fluctuations in semiflexible, inextensible, slender filaments in Stokes flow: Toward a spectral discretization
Semiflexible slender filaments are ubiquitous in nature and cell biology, including in the cytoskeleton, where reorganization of actin filaments allows the cell to move and divide. Most methods for simulating semiflexible inextensible fibers/polymers are based on discrete (bead-link or blob-link) models, which become prohibitively expensive in the slender limit when hydrodynamics is accounted for. In this paper, we develop a novel coarse-grained approach for simulating fluctuating slender filaments with hydrodynamic interactions. Our approach is tailored to relatively stiff fibers whose persistence length is comparable to or larger than their length and is based on three major contributions. First, we discretize the filament centerline using a coarse non-uniform Chebyshev grid, on which we formulate a discrete constrained Gibbs–Boltzmann (GB) equilibrium distribution and overdamped Langevin equation for the evolution of unit-length tangent vectors. Second, we define the hydrodynamic mobility at each point on the filament as an integral of the Rotne–Prager–Yamakawa kernel along the centerline and apply a spectrally accurate “slender-body” quadrature to accurately resolve the hydrodynamics. Third, we propose a novel midpoint temporal integrator, which can correctly capture the Ito drift terms that arise in the overdamped Langevin equation. For two separate examples, we verify that the equilibrium distribution for the Chebyshev grid is a good approximation of the blob-link one and that our temporal integrator for overdamped Langevin dynamics samples the equilibrium GB distribution for sufficiently small time step sizes. We also study the dynamics of relaxation of an initially straight filament and find that as few as 12 Chebyshev nodes provide a good approximation to the dynamics while allowing a time step size two orders of magnitude larger than a resolved blob-link simulation. We conclude by applying our approach to a suspension of cross-linked semiflexible fibers (neglecting hydrodynamic interactions between fibers), where we study how semiflexible fluctuations affect bundling dynamics. We find that semiflexible filaments bundle faster than rigid filaments even when the persistence length is large, but show that semiflexible bending fluctuations only further accelerate agglomeration when the persistence length and fiber length are of the same order.  more » « less
Award ID(s):
2052515 1646339
Author(s) / Creator(s):
; ;
Date Published:
Journal Name:
The Journal of Chemical Physics
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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