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Denk, Jonas; Huber, Lorenz; Reithmann, Emanuel and Frey, Erwin (2016): Active Curved Polymers Form Vortex Patterns on Membranes. In: Physical Review Letters, Vol. 116, No. 17, 178301

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Recent in vitro experiments with FtsZ polymers show self-organization into different dynamic patterns, including structures reminiscent of the bacterial Z ring. We model FtsZ polymers as active particles moving along chiral, circular paths by Brownian dynamics simulations and a Boltzmann approach. Our two conceptually different methods point to a generic phase behavior. At intermediate particle densities, we find self-organization into vortex structures including closed rings. Moreover, we show that the dynamics at the onset of pattern formation is described by a generalized complex Ginzburg-Landau equation.

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