Proliferating active matter

Hallatschek, Oskar and Datta, Sujit S. and Drescher, Knut and Dunkel, Jörn and Elgeti, Jens and Waclaw, Bartek and Wingreen, Ned S.. (2023) Proliferating active matter. Nature Reviews Physics. pp. 1-13.

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Official URL: https://edoc.unibas.ch/95634/

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The fascinating patterns of collective motion created by autonomously driven particles have fuelled active-matter research for over two decades. So far, theoretical active-matter research has often focused on systems with a fixed number of particles. This constraint imposes strict limitations on what behaviours can and cannot emerge. However, a hallmark of life is the breaking of local cell number conservation by replication and death. Birth and death processes must be taken into account, for example, to predict the growth and evolution of a microbial biofilm, the expansion of a tumour, or the development from a fertilized egg into an embryo and beyond. In this Perspective, we argue that unique features emerge in these systems because proliferation represents a distinct form of activity: not only do the proliferating entities consume and dissipate energy, they also inject biomass and degrees of freedom capable of further self-proliferation, leading to myriad dynamic scenarios. Despite this complexity, a growing number of studies document common collective phenomena in various proliferating soft-matter systems. This generality leads us to propose proliferation as another direction of active-matter physics, worthy of a dedicated search for new dynamical universality classes. Conceptual challenges abound, from identifying control parameters and understanding large fluctuations and nonlinear feedback mechanisms to exploring the dynamics and limits of information flow in self-replicating systems. We believe that, by extending the rich conceptual framework developed for conventional active matter to proliferating active matter, researchers can have a profound impact on quantitative biology and reveal fascinating emergent physics along the way.
Faculties and Departments:05 Faculty of Science > Departement Biozentrum > Infection Biology > Microbiology and Biophysics (Drescher)
UniBasel Contributors:Drescher, Knut
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Publisher:Nature Publishing Group
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
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Last Modified:13 Sep 2023 13:45
Deposited On:13 Sep 2023 13:45

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