In Silico Studies of Active Probe Dynamics in Crowded Media

L Theeyancheri and R Sahoo and P Kumar and R Chakrabarti, ACS OMEGA (2022).

DOI: 10.1021/acsomega.2c04709

Active systems are made of agents, each of which takes energy from the environment and converts it to directed motion. Therefore, by construction, these systems function out of equilibrium and cannot be described using equilibrium statistical mechanics. Though the most studied aspect has been the collective motion of active particles, the motion at the individual particle level in crowded media is also of prime importance. Examples include the motion of bacteria in hydrogels, single cell migration as a way to search for food or escape from toxic agents, and synthetic active agents transporting through soft crowded media. This review presents an overview of our understanding of single active probe dynamics in crowded media from computer simulations. The active probe is a Janus or a dumbbell-shaped particle, and the medium is made of crowders that are either sticky or repulsive to the probe and could be frozen or mobile. The density and the topology of the crowders also play an important role. We hope our in silico studies will help to elucidate the mechanism of activity-driven transport in crowded media in general and design nanomachines for targeted delivery.

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