We develop a theory for thermodynamic instabilities of complex fluids composed of many interacting chemical species organised in families. This model includes partially structured and partially random interactions and can be solved exactly using tools from random matrix theory. The model exhibits three kinds of fluid instabilities: one in which the species form a condensate with a local density that depends on their family (family condensation); one in which species demix in two phases depending on their family (family demixing); and one in which species demix in a random manner irrespective of their family (random demixing). We determine the critical spinodal density of the three types of instabilities and find that the critical spinodal density is finite for both family condensation and family demixing, while for random demixing the critical spinodal density grows as the square root of the number of species. We use the developed framework to describe phase-separation instability of the cytoplasm induced by a change in pH.
|Number of pages||17|
|Early online date||16 Feb 2022|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Sept 2022|