Oscillatory rheotaxis of artificial swimmers in microchannels

Dey, Ranabir and Buness, Carola M. and Hokmabad, Babak Vajdi and et al, . (2022) Oscillatory rheotaxis of artificial swimmers in microchannels. Nature Communications, 13 (1). pp. 1-10. ISSN 2041-1723

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Biological microswimmers navigate upstream of an external flow with trajectories ranging from linear to spiralling and oscillatory. Such a rheotactic response primarily stems from the hydrodynamic interactions triggered by the complex shapes of the microswimmers, such as flagellar chirality. We show here that a self-propelling droplet exhibits oscillatory rheotaxis in a microchannel, despite its simple spherical geometry. Such behaviour has been previously unobserved in artificial swimmers. Comparing our experiments to a purely hydrodynamic theory model, we demonstrate that the oscillatory rheotaxis of the droplet is primarily governed by both the shear flow characteristics and the interaction of the finite-sized microswimmer with all four microchannel walls. The dynamics can be controlled by varying the external flow strength, even leading to the rheotactic trapping of the oscillating droplet. Our results provide a realistic understanding of the behaviour of active particles navigating in confined microflows relevant in many biotechnology applications. © 2022, The Author(s).

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IITH Creators:
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Item Type: Article
Additional Information: C.C.M., B.V.H. and R.D. acknowledge funding from the DFG SPP 1726 “Microswimmers”, grant number MA 6330/1-2, and C.C.M. and C.J. from the BMBF/MPG MaxSynBio initiative. R.D. also acknowledges support from IIT Hyderabad.
Uncontrolled Keywords: article; biotechnology; geometry; human; hydrodynamics; rheotaxis; shear flow; swimming; hydrodynamics
Subjects: Physics > Mechanical and aerospace
Divisions: Department of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering
Depositing User: . LibTrainee 2021
Date Deposited: 07 Sep 2022 09:42
Last Modified: 07 Sep 2022 09:42
URI: http://raiith.iith.ac.in/id/eprint/10461
Publisher URL: http://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-022-30611-1
OA policy: https://v2.sherpa.ac.uk/id/publication/24265
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