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Microswimmers in an axisymmetric vortex flow

Title data

Arguedas-Leiva, José-Agustín ; Wilczek, Michael:
Microswimmers in an axisymmetric vortex flow.
In: New Journal of Physics. Vol. 22 (2020) . - No. 053051.
ISSN 1367-2630
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1088/1367-2630/ab776f

Abstract in another language

Microswimmers are encountered in a wide variety of biophysical settings. When interacting with flow fields, they show interesting dynamical features such as hydrodynamic trapping, clustering, and preferential orientation. One important step towards the understanding of such features is to clarify the interplay of hydrodynamic flows with microswimmer motility and shape. Here, we study the dynamics of ellipsoidal microswimmers in a two-dimensional axisymmetric vortex flow. Despite this simple setting, we find surprisingly rich dynamics, which can be comprehensively characterized in the framework of dynamical systems theory. By classifying the fixed-point structure of the underlying phase space as a function of motility and microswimmer shape, we uncover the topology of the phase space and determine the conditions under which microswimmers are trapped in the vortex. For spherical microswimmers, we identify Hamiltonian dynamics, which are broken for microswimmers of a different shape. We find that prolate ellipsoidal microswimmers tend to align parallel to the velocity field, while oblate microswimmers tend to remain perpendicular to it. Additionally, we find that rotational noise allows microswimmers to escape the vortex with an enhanced escape rate close to the system\textquotesingles saddle point. Our results clarify the role of shape and motility on the occurrence of preferential concentration and clustering and provide a starting point to understand the dynamics in more complex flows.

Further data

Item Type: Article in a journal
Refereed: Yes
Institutions of the University: Faculties > Faculty of Mathematics, Physics und Computer Science > Department of Physics > Chair Theoretical Physics I > Chair Theoretical Physics I - Univ.-Prof. Dr. Michael Wilczek
Profile Fields > Advanced Fields > Nonlinear Dynamics
Result of work at the UBT: No
DDC Subjects: 500 Science > 530 Physics
Date Deposited: 23 Feb 2022 15:16
Last Modified: 23 Feb 2022 15:16
URI: https://eref.uni-bayreuth.de/id/eprint/67602