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Journal Articles Communications in Mathematical Physics Year : 2018

Long-time asymptotics for polymerization models


This study is devoted to the long-term behavior of nucleation, growth and fragmentation equations, modeling the spontaneous formation and kinetics of large polymers in a spatially homogeneous and closed environment. Such models are, for instance, commonly used in the biophysical community in order to model in vitro experiments of fibrillation. We investigate the interplay between four processes: nucleation, polymeriza-tion, depolymerization and fragmentation. We first revisit the well-known Lifshitz-Slyozov model, which takes into account only polymerization and depolymerization, and we show that, when nucleation is included, the system goes to a trivial equilibrium: all polymers fragmentize, going back to very small polymers. Taking into account only polymerization and fragmentation, modeled by the classical growth-fragmentation equation, also leads the system to the same trivial equilibrium, whether or not nucleation is considered. However, also taking into account a depolymer-ization reaction term may surprisingly stabilize the system, since a steady size-distribution of polymers may then emerge, as soon as polymeriza-tion dominates depolymerization for large sizes whereas depolymerization dominates polymerization for smaller ones-a case which fits the classical assumptions for the Lifshitz-Slyozov equations, but complemented with fragmentation so that " Ostwald ripening " does not happen.
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Dates and versions

hal-01570292 , version 1 (28-07-2017)
hal-01570292 , version 2 (17-11-2018)



Juan Calvo, Marie Doumic, Benoît Perthame. Long-time asymptotics for polymerization models. Communications in Mathematical Physics, 2018, 363 (1), pp.111-137. ⟨10.1007/s00220-018-3218-5⟩. ⟨hal-01570292v2⟩
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