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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Differential Activity-Driven Instabilities in Biphasic Active Matter


Active stresses can cause instabilities in contractile gels and living tissues. Here we provide a generic hydrodynamic theory that treats these systems as a mixture of two phases of varying activity and different mechanical properties. We find that differential activity between the phases causes a uniform mixture to undergo a demixing instability. We follow the nonlinear evolution of the instability and characterize a phase diagram of the resulting patterns. Our study complements other instability mechanisms in mixtures driven by differential adhesion, differential diffusion, differential growth, and differential motion.

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