Beating patterns of filaments in viscoelastic fluids

Henry C. Fu, Charles William Wolgemuth, Thomas R. Powers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

49 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Many swimming microorganisms, such as bacteria and sperm, use flexible flagella to move through viscoelastic media in their natural environments. In this paper we address the effects a viscoelastic fluid has on the motion and beating patterns of elastic filaments. We treat both a passive filament which is actuated at one end and an active filament with bending forces arising from internal motors distributed along its length. We describe how viscoelasticity modifies the hydrodynamic forces exerted on the filaments, and how these modified forces affect the beating patterns. We show how high viscosity of purely viscous or viscoelastic solutions can lead to the experimentally observed beating patterns of sperm flagella, in which motion is concentrated at the distal end of the flagella.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number041913
JournalPhysical Review E - Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics
Volume78
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 21 2008
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Viscoelastic Fluid
Filament
filaments
fluids
Motion
Viscoelasticity
Microorganisms
viscoelasticity
microorganisms
Bacteria
bacteria
Hydrodynamics
Viscosity
hydrodynamics
viscosity
Internal

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
  • Statistics and Probability

Cite this

Beating patterns of filaments in viscoelastic fluids. / Fu, Henry C.; Wolgemuth, Charles William; Powers, Thomas R.

In: Physical Review E - Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics, Vol. 78, No. 4, 041913, 21.10.2008.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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