Publications by Rian Hughes


Collective chemotaxis of active nematic droplets

Physical Review E: Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics American Physical Society 102 (2020) 020601

R Hughes, J Yeomans

Collective chemotaxis plays a key role in the navigation of cell clusters in e.g. embryogenesis and cancer metastasis. Using the active nematic continuum equations, coupled to a chemical field that regulates activity, we demonstrate and explain a physical mechanism that results in collective chemotaxis. The activity naturally leads to cell polarisation at the cluster interface which induces outwards flows. The chemical gradient then breaks the symmetry of the flow field, leading to a net motion. The velocity is independent of the cluster size in agreement with experiment.


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