Cross-stream migration of a vesicle in vortical flows

Gökberk Kabacaoǧlu, Enkeleida Lushi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


We use numerical simulations to systematically investigate the vesicle dynamics in two-dimensional (2D) Taylor-Green vortex flow in the absence of inertial forces. Vesicles are highly deformable membranes encapsulating an incompressible fluid and they serve as numerical and experimental proxies for biological cells such as red blood cells. Vesicle dynamics has been studied in free-space or bounded shear, Poiseuille, and Taylor-Couette flows in 2D and 3D. Taylor-Green vortex are characterized with even more complicated properties than those flows such as nonuniform flow line curvature, shear gradient. We study the effects of two parameters on the vesicle dynamics: the ratio of the interior fluid viscosity to that of the exterior one and the ratio of the shear forces on the vesicle to the membrane stiffness (characterized by the capillary number). Vesicle deformability nonlinearly depends on these parameters. Although the study is in 2D, our findings contribute to the wide spectrum of intriguing vesicle dynamics: Vesicles migrate inwards and eventually rotate at the vortex center if they are sufficiently deformable. If not, then they migrate away from the vortex center and travel across the periodic arrays of vortices. The outward migration of a vesicle is a new phenomenon in Taylor-Green vortex flow and has not been observed in any other flows so far. Such cross-streamline migration of deformable particles can be utilized in several applications such as microfluidics for cell separation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number044608
JournalPhysical Review E
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

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


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