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

Enkeleida Lushi, Raymond E. Goldstein, Michael J. Shelley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


In microswimmer 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 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 nontrivial flows. In pusher suspensions chemotactic aggregation can lead to destabilizing flows that fragment the regions of aggregation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number040902
JournalPhysical Review E - Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 22 2012
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
  • Statistics and Probability
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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