Jump to main content
Jump to site search

Issue 16, 2018
Previous Article Next Article

Synchronization in pairs of rotating active biomotors

Author affiliations


Although synchronization is a well-known physical phenomenon, experimental studies of its emergence in living bacterial cells are still scarce. The difficulty in generating a controlled scenario to detect synchronization has limited the experimental outcomes so far. We present a realization based on holographic optical tweezers in which adhered pairs of self-propelled bacteria rotate in a plane. The separation distance between the bacteria determines the strength of the hydrodynamic coupling. Despite the noisy environment and autonomous dynamics of the living bacteria, we find evidence of phase locking and frequency entrainment in their rotation. The observation of higher order frequency synchronization is also discussed.

Graphical abstract: Synchronization in pairs of rotating active biomotors

Back to tab navigation

Publication details

The article was received on 03 Jan 2018, accepted on 08 Apr 2018 and first published on 11 Apr 2018

Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C8SM00022K
Citation: Soft Matter, 2018,14, 3073-3077
  •   Request permissions

    Synchronization in pairs of rotating active biomotors

    N. Oliver, C. Alpmann, Á. Barroso, L. Dewenter, M. Woerdemann and C. Denz, Soft Matter, 2018, 14, 3073
    DOI: 10.1039/C8SM00022K

Search articles by author