Biomimetic micro-swimmers can be used for various medical applications, such as targeted drug delivery and micro-object (e. g. biological cells) manipulation, in lab-on-a-chip devices. Bacteria swim using a bundle of flagella (flexible hair-like structures) that form a rotating cork-screw of chiral shape. To mimic bacterial swimming, we employ a computational approach to design a bacterial (chirality-induced) swimmer whose chiral shape and rotational velocity can be controlled by an external magnetic field. In our model, we numerically solve the coupled governing equations that describe the system dynamics (i.e. solid mechanics, fluid dynamics and magnetostatics). We explore the swimming response as a function of the characteristic dimensionless parameters and put special emphasis on controlling the swimming direction. Our results provide fundamental physical insight on the chirality-induced propulsion, and it provides guidelines for the design of magnetic bi-directional micro-swimmers.
|Number of pages
|Proceedings of the Royal Society A-Mathematical Physical and Engineering Sciences
|Published - 8-Feb-2014
- low-Reynolds number motions
- magnetic actuation