Research Article

Topology and dynamics of active nematic vesicles

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Science  05 Sep 2014:
Vol. 345, Issue 6201, pp. 1135-1139
DOI: 10.1126/science.1254784

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Liquid crystals on a deformable substrate

The orientation of the molecules in a liquid crystalline material will change in response to either changes in the substrate or an external field. This is the basis for liquid crystalline devices. Vesicles, which are fluid pockets surrounded by lipid bilayers, will change size or shape in response to solvent conditions or pressure. Keber et al. report on the rich interactions between nematic liquid crystals placed on the surface of a vesicle. Changes to the vesicle size, for example, can “tune” the liquid crystal molecules. But conversely, the shape of the vesicles can also change in response to the activity of the nematic molecules.

Science, this issue p. 1135