Limit-cycle oscillation of an elastic filament and caterpillar motion

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    Abstract

    Soft biological materials can exhibit various active motion such as limit-cycle oscillation. The limit-cycle oscillation of active matter might be used for a mechanism of locomotion. We propose a simple model of an active elastic chain as an extension of the van der Pol equation. The uniform state is unstable, and exhibits a limit cycle of breathing motion. If the breathing motion is mirror symmetric, the elastic chain does not move as a whole. However, the breathing motion becomes a caterpillar motion and a unidirectional motion is induced, if an additional heterogeneity is involved or the chain is set on a spatially periodic sawtooth potential. We also analyze the model equation with coupled mode equations, and try to understand the bifurcation to the collective oscillation and the directional motion.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number026216
    JournalPhysical Review E - Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics
    Volume79
    Issue number2
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Feb 2 2009

    All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

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

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