Towards active microfluidics: interface turbulence in thin liquid films with floating molecular machines
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Thin liquid films with floating active protein machines are considered. Cyclic mechanical motions within the machines, representing microscopic swimmers, lead to molecular propulsion forces applied to the air-liquid interface. We show that when the rate of energy supply to the machines exceeds a threshold, the flat interface becomes linearly unstable. As a result of this instability, the regime of interface turbulence, characterized by irregular traveling waves and propagating machine clusters, is established. Numerical investigations of this nonlinear regime are performed. Conditions for the experimental observation of the instability are discussed.
CitationAlonso, S.; Mikhailov, A. Towards active microfluidics: interface turbulence in thin liquid films with floating molecular machines. "Physical review E: statistical, nonlinear, and soft matter physics", 4 Juny 2009, vol. 79, núm. 6, p. 061906-1-061906-8.