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Munk, Tobias; Hallatschek, Oskar; Wiggins, Chris H. and Frey, Erwin (October 2006): Dynamics of semiflexible polymers in a flow field. In: Physical Review E, Vol. 74, No. 4: 041911-1 [PDF, 761kB]


We present a method to investigate the dynamics of a single semiflexible polymer, subject to anisotropic friction in a viscous fluid. In contrast to previous approaches, we do not rely on a discrete bead-rod model, but introduce a suitable normal mode decomposition of a continuous space curve. By means of a perturbation expansion for stiff filaments, we derive a closed set of coupled Langevin equations in mode space for the nonlinear dynamics in two dimensions, taking into account exactly the local constraint of inextensibility. The stochastic differential equations obtained this way are solved numerically, with parameters adjusted to describe the motion of actin filaments. As an example, we show results for the tumbling motion in shear flow.

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