IMA Postdoc Seminar (March 11, 2008)

Speaker: Juan Latorre (Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute)

Title: Effective transport properties of stochastic biophysical models

Abstract: In this talk I will present some results of our work in quantifying effective transport properties of Brownian motors. These mathematical models serve as idealizations of biophysical processes occurring at small scales, such as transport of cargos by Kinesin moving along microtubules. A common approach is to describe the dynamics of the motor as a particle interacting with a periodic potential and the thermal environment (implicit solvent). In this situation an homogenization procedure predicts that in the long-time limit the particle will undergo Brownian motion, which is determined uniquely by its effective drift and diffusivity. In our work we develop analytic and numerical tools for calculating these effective transport properties for simple Brownian motor models, as well as an analysis of the efficiency of the motor.