Effective viscosity of a suspension of flagellar beating microswimmers: Three-dimensional modeling

Levan Jibuti 1 Walter Zimmermann 1 Salima Rafaï 2 Philippe Peyla 2
LIPhy - Laboratoire Interdisciplinaire de Physique [Saint Martin d’Hères]
Abstract : A three-dimensional model is proposed for Chlamydomonas Reinhardtii swimming with a breaststroke-like beating of its two flagella. The model reveals unusual angular orbits of the active swimmer under a linear shear flow. Namely, the swimmer sustains orientation transiently across the flow when flagella plane is perpendicular to the shear plane, and amplify the shear-induced rotation along the flow. Such behavior is a result of the interplay between shear-induced deformation and swimmer's periodic beating motion that exerts internal torques on the torque-free swimmer. This particular behavior has some significant consequences on the rheological properties of the suspension that tends to confirm previous experimental results [Phys. Rev. Lett. 104, 098102 (2010)]. We calculated the intrinsic viscosity of the suspension with such isolated modeled microswimmers (dilute case) in shear flow using numerical simulations based on Rotne-Prager approximation. The results show an increased intrinsic viscosity for active swimmer suspensions in comparison to non-active ones in accordance with previous experimental measurements. A major enhancement of the active swimmer viscosity occurs due to the effectively extended shape of the deformable swimming cells. We also recover the experimentally observed shear thinning behavior.
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Submitted on : Tuesday, December 5, 2017 - 12:28:49 PM
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Levan Jibuti, Walter Zimmermann, Salima Rafaï, Philippe Peyla. Effective viscosity of a suspension of flagellar beating microswimmers: Three-dimensional modeling. Physical Review E : Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics, American Physical Society, 2017, 96 (5), pp.052610. ⟨10.1103/PhysRevE.96.052610⟩. ⟨hal-01637134⟩



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