Active Brownian Filamentous Polymers under Shear Flow

The conformational and rheological properties of active filaments/polymers exposed to shear flow are studied analytically. Using the continuous Gaussian semiflexible polymer model extended by the activity, we derive analytical expressions for the dependence of the deformation, orientation, relaxation times, and viscosity on the persistence length, shear rate, and activity. The model yields a Weissenberg-number dependent shear-induced deformation, alignment, and shear thinning behavior, similarly to the passive counterpart. Thereby, the model shows an intimate coupling between activity and shear flow. As a consequence, activity enhances the shear-induced polymer deformation for flexible polymers. For semiflexible polymers/filaments, a nonmonotonic deformation is obtained because of the activity-induced shrinkage at moderate and swelling at large activities. Independent of stiffness, activity-induced swelling facilitates and enhances alignment and shear thinning compared to a passive polymer. In the asymptotic limit of large activities, a polymer length- and stiffness-independent behavior is obtained, with universal shear-rate dependencies for the conformations, dynamics, and rheology.