Helical Flagella

Conical liquid crystalline phase of flagellar filaments

When concentrated the helical flagellar filaments form a liquid crystalline phase with a novel symmetry which is determined by the helical geometry of the constituent filaments. Furthermore, the dynamics of filaments within a conical phase is unusual in that translation motion is completely suppressed while rotation of helices remains relatively unhindered.  Individual helices translate through rotations similar to a movement of a nut on a bolt.  The unusual phase diagram and dynamics of conical phase was described by Barry et. al. PRL 96 (2006), 018305.

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Confined actin filaments