Stability and dynamics of anisotropically tumbling chemotactic swimmers

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Microswimmers such as bacteria perform random walks known as run-and-tumbles to move up chemoattractant gradients and as a result aggregate with others. It is also known that such micro-swimmers can self-organize into macroscopic patterns due to interactions with neighboring cells through the fluidic environment they live in. While the pattern formation resulting from chemotactic and hydrodynamic interactions separately and together have been previously investigated, the effect of the anisotropy in the tumbles of microswimmers has been unexplored. Here we show through linear analysis and full nonlinear simulations that the slight anisotropy in the individual swimmer tumbles can alter the collective pattern formation in nontrivial ways. We show that tumbling anisotropy diminishes the magnitude of the chemotactic aggregates but may result in more such aggregation peaks.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number022414
JournalPhysical Review E
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 17 2016
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

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


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