Volume 123, Number 3, August 2018
|Number of page(s)||6|
|Section||Electromagnetism, Optics, Acoustics, Heat Transfer, Classical Mechanics, and Fluid Dynamics|
|Published online||27 August 2018|
A three-sphere microswimmer in a structured fluid
1 Department of Chemistry, Graduate School of Science, Tokyo Metropolitan University - Tokyo 192-0397, Japan
2 Research Institute for Interdisciplinary Science, Okayama University - Okayama 700-8530, Japan
Received: 21 May 2018
Accepted: 27 July 2018
We discuss the locomotion of a three-sphere microswimmer in a viscoelastic structured fluid characterized by typical length and time scales. We derive a general expression to link the average swimming velocity to the sphere mobilities. In this relationship, a viscous contribution exists when the time-reversal symmetry is broken, whereas an elastic contribution is present when the structural symmetry of the microswimmer is broken. As an example of a structured fluid, we consider a polymer gel, which is described by a “two-fluid” model. We demonstrate in detail that the competition between the swimmer size and the polymer mesh size gives rise to the rich dynamics of a three-sphere microswimmer.
PACS: 47.63.Gd – Swimming microorganisms / 47.63.mf – Low-Reynolds-number motions / 82.70.Gg – Gels and sols
© EPLA, 2018
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