Non-Gaussian curvature distribution of actin-propelled biomimetric colloid trajectories

S. Schmidt, J. van der Gucht, P.M. Biesheuvel, R. Weinkamer, E. Helfer, A. Fery

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


We analyze the motion of colloids propelled by a comet-like tail of polymerizing actin filaments. The curvature of the particle trajectories deviates strongly from a Gaussian distribution, implying that the underlying microscopic processes are fluctuating in a non-independent manner. Trajectories for beads of different size all showed the same non-Gaussian behavior, while the mean curvature decreased weakly with size. A stochastic simulation that includes nucleation, force-dependent dissociation, growth, and capping of filaments, shows that the non-Gaussian curvature distribution can be explained by a positive feedback mechanism in which attached chains under higher tension are more likely to snap
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1361-1366
JournalEuropean Biophysics Journal
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2008


  • comet tails
  • lipid vesicles
  • motility
  • polymerization
  • listeria
  • forces
  • filaments
  • mechanism
  • movement
  • driven

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