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Issue 29, 2017

Geometry-driven collective ordering of bacterial vortices

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Abstract

Controlling the phases of matter is a challenge that spans from condensed materials to biological systems. Here, by imposing a geometric boundary condition, we study the controlled collective motion of Escherichia coli bacteria. A circular microwell isolates a rectified vortex from disordered vortices masked in the bulk. For a doublet of microwells, two vortices emerge but their spinning directions show transition from parallel to anti-parallel. A Vicsek-like model for confined self-propelled particles gives the point where the two spinning patterns occur in equal probability and one geometric quantity governs the transition as seen in experiments. This mechanism shapes rich patterns including chiral configurations in a quadruplet of microwells, thus revealing a design principle of active vortices.

Graphical abstract: Geometry-driven collective ordering of bacterial vortices

Supplementary files

Article information


Submitted
19 May 2017
Accepted
01 Jul 2017
First published
03 Jul 2017

Soft Matter, 2017,13, 5038-5043
Article type
Paper

Geometry-driven collective ordering of bacterial vortices

K. Beppu, Z. Izri, J. Gohya, K. Eto, M. Ichikawa and Y. T. Maeda, Soft Matter, 2017, 13, 5038 DOI: 10.1039/C7SM00999B

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