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Actin networks in certain single-celled organisms exhibit a complex pattern-forming dynamics that starts with the appearance of static spots of actin on the cell cortex. Spots soon become mobile, executing persistent random walks, and eventually give rise to traveling waves of actin. Here we describe a possible physical mechanism for this distinctive set of(More)
We use computer simulation to study crystal-forming model proteins equipped with interactions that are both orientationally specific and nonspecific. Distinct dynamical pathways of crystal formation can be selected by tuning the strengths of these interactions. When the nonspecific interaction is strong, liquidlike clustering can precede crystallization;(More)
The growth of colloidal nanocrystal architectures by nanoparticle attachment is frequently reported as an alternative to the conventional growth by monomer attachment. However, the mechanism whereby nanoparticle attachment proceeds microscopically remains unclear. We report real-time transmission electron microscopy (TEM) imaging of the solution growth of(More)
Recent experimental observations of the onset of calcium carbonate (CaCO3) mineralization suggest the emergence of a population of clusters that are stable rather than unstable as predicted by classical nucleation theory. This study uses molecular dynamics simulations to probe the structure, dynamics, and energetics of hydrated CaCO3 clusters and lattice(More)
This review describes some important physical characteristics of the pathways (i.e., dynamical processes) by which molecular, nanoscale, and micrometer-scale self-assembly occurs. We highlight the existence of features of self-assembly pathways that are common to a wide range of physical systems, even though those systems may differ with respect to their(More)
When pulled along its axis, double-stranded DNA elongates abruptly at a force of approximately 65 pN. Two physical pictures have been developed to describe this overstretched state. The first proposes that strong forces induce a phase transition to a molten state consisting of unhybridized single strands. The second picture introduces an elongated(More)
We use computer simulations to investigate self-assembly in a system of model chaperonin proteins, and in an Ising lattice gas. We discuss the mechanisms responsible for rapid and efficient assembly in these systems, and we use measurements of dynamical activity and assembly progress to compare their propensities for kinetic trapping. We use the analytic(More)
We introduce a "virtual-move" Monte Carlo algorithm for systems of pairwise-interacting particles. This algorithm facilitates the simulation of particles possessing attractions of short range and arbitrary strength and geometry, an important realization being self-assembling particles endowed with strong, short-ranged, and angularly specific ("patchy")(More)
Protein complexes called rosettasomes self-assemble in solution to form large-scale filamentous and planar structures. The relative abundance of these aggregates varies abruptly with environmental conditions and sample composition. Our simulations of a model of patchy nanoparticles can reproduce this sharp crossover, but only if particles are allowed to(More)
The simplest prescription for building a patterned structure from its constituents is to add particles, one at a time, to an appropriate template. However, self-organizing molecular and colloidal systems in nature can evolve in much more hierarchical ways. Specifically, constituents (or clusters of constituents) may aggregate to form clusters (or clusters(More)