Topological defects are increasingly being identified in various biological systems, where their characteristic flow fields and stress patterns are associated with continuous active stress generation by biological entities. Here, using numerical simulations of continuum fluctuating nematohydrodynamics, we show that even in the absence of any specific form of active stresses associated with self-propulsion, mesoscopic fluctuations in either orientational alignment or hydrodynamics can independently result in flow patterns around topological defects that resemble the ones observed in active systems. Our simulations further show the possibility of extensile- and contractile-like motion of fluctuation-induced positive half-integer topological defects. Remarkably, isotropic stress fields also reproduce the experimentally measured stress patterns around topological defects in epithelia. Our findings further reveal that extensile- or contractile-like flow and stress patterns around fluctuation-induced defects are governed by passive elastic stresses and flow-aligning behavior of the nematics.
Physical Review E
- Pub Date:
- October 2022
- Condensed Matter - Soft Condensed Matter;
- Condensed Matter - Statistical Mechanics;
- Physics - Biological Physics