Diffusion Through a Network of Compartments Separated by Partially-Transmitting Boundaries

TitleDiffusion Through a Network of Compartments Separated by Partially-Transmitting Boundaries
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2019
AuthorsMuñoz-Gil, G, Garcia-March, MA, Manzo, C, Celi, A, Lewenstein, M
JournalFrontiers in Physics
Volume7
Pagination31
ISSN2296-424X
Abstract

We study the random walk of a particle in a compartmentalized environment, as realized in biological samples or solid state compounds. Each compartment is characterized by its length L and the boundaries transmittance T. We identify two relevant spatio-temporal scales that provide alternative descriptions of the dynamics: (i) the microscale, in which the particle position is monitored at constant time intervals; and (ii) the mesoscale, in which it is monitored only when the particle crosses a boundary between compartments. Both descriptions provide—by construction—the same long time behavior. The analytical description obtained at the proposed mesoscale allows for a complete characterization of the complex movement at the microscale, thus representing a fruitful approach for this kind of systems. We show that the presence of disorder in the transmittance is a necessary condition to induce anomalous diffusion, whereas the spatial heterogeneity reduces the degree of subdiffusion and, in some cases, can even compensate for the disorder induced by the stochastic transmittance.

URLhttps://www.frontiersin.org/article/10.3389/fphy.2019.00031
DOI10.3389/fphy.2019.00031
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