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Swimming Back and Forth Using Planar Flagellar Propulsion at Low Reynolds Numbers

2018

Article

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Abstract Peritrichously flagellated Escherichia coli swim back and forth by wrapping their flagella together in a helical bundle. However, other monotrichous bacteria cannot swim back and forth with a single flagellum and planar wave propagation. Quantifying this observation, a magnetically driven soft two‐tailed microrobot capable of reversing its swimming direction without making a U‐turn trajectory or actively modifying the direction of wave propagation is designed and developed. The microrobot contains magnetic microparticles within the polymer matrix of its head and consists of two collinear, unequal, and opposite ultrathin tails. It is driven and steered using a uniform magnetic field along the direction of motion with a sinusoidally varying orthogonal component. Distinct reversal frequencies that enable selective and independent excitation of the first or the second tail of the microrobot based on their tail length ratio are found. While the first tail provides a propulsive force below one of the reversal frequencies, the second is almost passive, and the net propulsive force achieves flagellated motion along one direction. On the other hand, the second tail achieves flagellated propulsion along the opposite direction above the reversal frequency.

Author(s): Khalil, Islam S. M. and Tabak, Ahmet Fatih and Hamed, Youssef and Mitwally, Mohamed E. and Tawakol, Mohamed and Klingner, Anke and Sitti, Metin
Journal: Advanced Science
Volume: 5
Number (issue): 2
Pages: 1700461
Year: 2018
Day: 1

Department(s): Physical Intelligence
Bibtex Type: Article (article)

DOI: 10.1002/advs.201700461
Eprint: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdf/10.1002/advs.201700461
URL: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/advs.201700461

BibTex

@article{doi:10.1002/advs.201700461,
  title = {Swimming Back and Forth Using Planar Flagellar Propulsion at Low Reynolds Numbers},
  author = {Khalil, Islam S. M. and Tabak, Ahmet Fatih and Hamed, Youssef and Mitwally, Mohamed E. and Tawakol, Mohamed and Klingner, Anke and Sitti, Metin},
  journal = {Advanced Science},
  volume = {5},
  number = {2},
  pages = {1700461},
  year = {2018},
  eprint = {https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdf/10.1002/advs.201700461},
  url = {https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/advs.201700461}
}