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Self-organizing motors divide active liquid droplets

At the University of Chicago MRSEC, we have constructed active liquid droplets comprised of the biopolymer actin, crosslinker and molecular motors myosin. The motors spontaneously divide the droplets in half.  Together, the Gardel, Vainkunation and Witten groups showed how liquid crystal droplets could explain the motor centering and droplet bisection. This work shows minimal elements in active soft matter for supporting morphogenic changes, as may have bene seen in primitive cells.  The grph shows the Probability distribution for motors along the droplet long axis, binned at regular intervals as a function of distance from the droplet midplane, normalized to the droplet length LD (n=50 droplets)