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Accueil du site > Seminars > Séminaires théorie > Theory Club Thursday November 12 2020 at 12pm (Zoom). Christoph Weber: "Controlling composition of coexisting phases via molecular transitions".

Theory Club Thursday November 12 2020 at 12pm (Zoom). Christoph Weber: "Controlling composition of coexisting phases via molecular transitions"

Unless otherwise stated, seminars and defences take place at 11:30 in room 454A of Condorcet building.


Phase separation and transitions among molecular states are ubiquitous in living cells. Such transitions can be governed by thermodynamics or actively controlled by biological fuel. It remains largely unexplored how the behavior of phase separating systems with molecular transitions differs between thermodynamic equilibrium and cases where detailed balance of the molecular transition rates are broken due to the presence of fuel. Here, we derive a minimal model of a phase separating ternary mixture where two components can convert into each other. We find that molecular transitions can lead to a lower critical dissolution temperature below which phase-separated droplets dissolve. Moreover, we find a discontinuous thermodynamic phase transition in composition of the dense phase if both converting molecules attract themselves with similar interaction strength. Accounting for detailed-balance broken molecular transitions releases the system from Gibbs phase rule constraint facilitating quasi discontinuous changes in droplet composition by fuel quenches for a larger range of inter-molecular interactions. Our findings showcase the potential of phase separation with molecular transitions as a mechanism to control properties of intra-cellular condensates via discontinuous switches in droplet composition.


Contact : Équipe séminaires / Seminar team - Published on / Publié le 14 December 2020


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