Active Matter Alters the Growth Dynamics of Coffee Rings
(Back cover article)
Tuğba Andaç, Pascal Weigmann, Sabareesh K. P. Velu, Erçağ Pinçe, Agnese Callegari, Giorgio Volpe, Giovanni Volpe & Agnese Callegari
Soft Matter 15(7), 1488—1496 (2019)
How particles are deposited at the edge of evaporating droplets, i.e. the coffee ring effect, plays a crucial role in phenomena as diverse as thin-film deposition, self-assembly, and biofilm formation. Recently, microorganisms have been shown to passively exploit and alter these deposition dynamics to increase their survival chances under harshening conditions. Here, we show that, as the droplet evaporation rate slows down, bacterial mobility starts playing a major role in determining the growth dynamics of the edge of drying droplets. Such motility-induced dynamics can influence several biophysical phenomena, from the formation of biofilms to the spreading of pathogens in humid environments and on surfaces subject to periodic drying. Analogous dynamics in other active matter systems can be exploited for technological applications in printing, coating, and self-assembly, where the standard coffee-ring effect is often a nuisance.
Non-Boltzmann stationary distributions and non-equilibrium relations in active baths
Aykut Argun, Ali-Reza Moradi, Erçağ Pinçe, Gokhan Baris Bagci, Alberto Imparato & Giovanni Volpe
Physical Review E 94(6), 062150 (2016)
Most natural and engineered processes, such as biomolecular reactions, protein folding, and population dynamics, occur far from equilibrium and therefore cannot be treated within the framework of classical equilibrium thermodynamics. Here we experimentally study how some fundamental thermodynamic quantities and relations are affected by the presence of the nonequilibrium fluctuations associated with an active bath. We show in particular that, as the confinement of the particle increases, the stationary probability distribution of a Brownian particle confined within a harmonic potential becomes non-Boltzmann, featuring a transition from a Gaussian distribution to a heavy-tailed distribution. Because of this, nonequilibrium relations (e.g., the Jarzynski equality and Crooks fluctuation theorem) cannot be applied. We show that these relations can be restored by using the effective potential associated with the stationary probability distribution. We corroborate our experimental findings with theoretical arguments.
Erçağ Pinçe defended his PhD thesis on 21 October 2016. Assist. Prof. Evren Doruk Engin (Ankara University), Assist. Prof. Giovanni Volpe (Bilkent University), Assist. Prof. Balázs Hétenyi (Bilkent University), Assoc. Prof. Fatih Ömer İlday (Bilkent University) and Prof. Alper Kiraz (Koç University) participated as thesis committee members.
Erçağ Pinçe investigated the role that spatial disorder can play to alter collective dynamics in a colloidal living active matter system where motile E. Coli bacteria are present. The results suggested that the level of heterogeneity present in the background changes the long-term spatial dynamics in a colloidal ensemble coupled to a bacterial bath. This work provided insights about statistical behavior and far-from-equilibrium interactions in an active matter system.
Thesis title: Manipulation and control of collective behavior in active matter systems
Thesis advisor: Giovanni Volpe
Thesis abstract: Active matter systems consist of active constituents that transform energy into directed motion in a non-equilibrium setting. The interaction of active agents with each other and with their environment results in collective motion and emergence of long-range ordering. Examples to such dynamic behaviors in living active matter systems are pattern formation in bacterial colonies, ocking of birds and clustering of pedestrian crowds. All these phenomena stem from far-from-equilibrium interactions. The governing dynamics of these phenomena are not yet fully understood and extensively studied. In this thesis, we studied the role that spatial disorder can play to alter collective dynamics in a colloidal living active matter system. We showed that the level of heterogeneity in the environment in uences the long-range order in a colloidal ensemble coupled to a bacterial bath where the non-equilibrium forces imposed by the bacteria become pivotal to control switching between gathering and dispersal of colloids. Apart from studying environmental factors in a complex active matter system, we also focused on a new class of active particles, \bionic microswimmers”, and their clustering behavior. We demonstrated that spherical bionic microswimmers which are fabricated by attaching motile E. coli bacteria on melamine particles can agglomerate in large colloidal structures. Finally, we observed the emergence of swimming clusters as a result of the collective motion of bionic microswimmers. Our results provide insights about statistical behavior and far-from-equilibrium interactions in an active matter system.
Disorder-mediated crowd control in an active matter system
Erçağ Pinçe, Sabareesh K. P. Velu, Agnese Callegari, Parviz Elahi, Sylvain Gigan, Giovanni Volpe & Giorgio Volpe
Nature Communications 7, 10907 (2016)
Living active matter systems such as bacterial colonies, schools of fish and human crowds, display a wealth of emerging collective and dynamic behaviours as a result of far-from- equilibrium interactions. The dynamics of these systems are better understood and controlled considering their interaction with the environment, which for realistic systems is often highly heterogeneous and disordered. Here, we demonstrate that the presence of spatial disorder can alter the long-term dynamics in a colloidal active matter system, making it switch between gathering and dispersal of individuals. At equilibrium, colloidal particles always gather at the bottom of any attractive potential; however, under non-equilibrium driving forces in a bacterial bath, the colloids disperse if disorder is added to the potential. The depth of the local roughness in the environment regulates the transition between gathering and dispersal of individuals in the active matter system, thus inspiring novel routes for controlling emerging behaviours far from equilibrium.