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Issue 20, 2020
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Wall entrapment of peritrichous bacteria: a mesoscale hydrodynamics simulation study

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Abstract

Microswimmers such as E. coli bacteria accumulate and exhibit an intriguing dynamics near walls, governed by hydrodynamic and steric interactions. Insight into the underlying mechanisms and predominant interactions demand a detailed characterization of the entrapment process. We employ a mesoscale hydrodynamics simulation approach to study entrapment of an E. coli-type cell at a no-slip wall. The cell is modeled by a spherocylindrical body with several explicit helical flagella. Three stages of the entrapment process can be distinguished: the approaching regime, where a cell swims toward a wall on a nearly straight trajectory; a scattering regime, where the cell touches the wall and reorients; and a surface-swimming regime. Our simulations show that steric interactions may dominate the entrapment process, yet, hydrodynamic interactions slow down the adsorption dynamics close to the boundary and imply a circular motion on the wall. The locomotion of the cell is characterized by a strong wobbling dynamics, with cells preferentially pointing toward the wall during surface swimming.

Graphical abstract: Wall entrapment of peritrichous bacteria: a mesoscale hydrodynamics simulation study

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Supplementary files

Article information


Submitted
01 Apr 2020
Accepted
07 May 2020
First published
08 May 2020

Soft Matter, 2020,16, 4866-4875
Article type
Paper

Wall entrapment of peritrichous bacteria: a mesoscale hydrodynamics simulation study

S. M. Mousavi, G. Gompper and R. G. Winkler, Soft Matter, 2020, 16, 4866
DOI: 10.1039/D0SM00571A

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