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Nucleation and shape dynamics of model nematic tactoids around adhesive colloids

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Recent experiments have shown how nematically ordered tactoid shaped actin droplets can be reorganized and divided by the action of myosin molecular motors. In this paper, we consider how similar morphological changes can potentially be achieved under equilibrium conditions. Using simulations, both atomistic and continuum, and a simple macroscopic model, we explore how the nucleation dynamics, shape changes, and the final steady state of a nematic tactoid droplet can be modified by interactions with model adhesive colloids that mimic a myosin motor cluster. We show how tactoid reorganization may occur in an equilibrium colloidal-nematic setting. We then suggest based on the simple macroscopic model how the simulation models may be extended to potentially stabilize divided tactoids.

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