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Monopolar flocking of microtubules in collective motion

Farhana Afroze, Daisuke Inoue, Tamanna Ishrat Farhana, Tetsuya Hiraiwa, , Arif Md. Rashedul Kabir, Kazuki Sada,

Abstract: Flocking is a fascinating coordinated behavior of living organisms or self-propelled particles (SPPs). Particularly, monopolar flocking has been attractive due to its potential applications in various fields. However, the underlying mechanism behind flocking and emergence of monopolar motion in flocking of SPPs has remained obscured. Here, we demonstrate monopolar flocking of kinesin-driven microtubules, a self-propelled biomolecular motor system. Microtubules with an intrinsic structural chirality preferentially move towards counter-clockwise direction. At high density, the CCW motion of microtubules facilitates monopolar flocking and formation of a spiral pattern. The monopolar flocking of microtubules is accounted for by a torque generated when the motion of microtubules was obstructed due to collisions. Our results shed light on flocking and emergence of monopolar motion in flocking of chiral active matters. This work will help regulate the polarity in collective motion of SPPs which in turn will widen their applications in nanotechnology, materials science and engineering.
Keywords: Flocking / Collective motion / Pattern formation / Chirality / Polarity / Active matter

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