Collective chemotactic dynamics in the presence of self-generated fluid flows

Enkeleida Lushi, Raymond E. Goldstein, Michael J. Shelley
2012 Physical Review E  
In micro-swimmer suspensions locomotion necessarily generates fluid motion, and it is known that such flows can lead to collective behavior from unbiased swimming. We examine the complementary problem of how chemotaxis is affected by self-generated flows. A kinetic theory coupling run-and-tumble chemotaxis to the flows of collective swimming shows separate branches of chemotactic and hydrodynamic instabilities for isotropic suspensions, the first driving aggregation, the second producing
more » ... nd producing increased orientational order in suspensions of "pushers" and maximal disorder in suspensions of "pullers". Nonlinear simulations show that hydrodynamic interactions can limit and modify chemotactically-driven aggregation dynamics. In puller suspensions the dynamics form aggregates that are mutually-repelling due to the non-trivial flows. In pusher suspensions chemotactic aggregation can lead to destabilizing flows that fragment the regions of aggregation.
doi:10.1103/physreve.86.040902 pmid:23214522 fatcat:lxfrhfd7jrddbbngfaipduj3rm