Differential-activity driven instabilities in biphasic active matter


Chris H. Rycroft Christoph A. Weber and L.\ Mahadevan. Submitted. “Differential-activity driven instabilities in biphasic active matter”.


Active stresses can cause instabilities in contractile gels and living tissues. Here we describe a generic hydrodynamic theory that treats these systems as a mixture of two phases of varying activity and different mechanical properties. We find that differential activity between the phases provides a mechanism causing a demixing instability. that can lead to phase separation. We follow the nonlinear evolution of the instability and characterize a phase diagram of the resulting patterns. Our study on how differential activity drives patterning complements other instability mechanisms in mixtures such as differential growth, shape, motion or adhesion.