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Journal Article

Mechanical response of a small swimmer driven by conformational transitions


Golestanian,  R.       
Department of Living Matter Physics, Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization, Max Planck Society;

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Golestanian, R., & Ajdari, A. (2008). Mechanical response of a small swimmer driven by conformational transitions. Physical Review Letters, 100(3): 038101. doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.100.038101.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0001-A6D9-F
A conformation space kinetic model is constructed to drive the deformation cycle of a three-sphere swimmer to achieve propulsion at low Reynolds number. We analyze the effect of an external load on the performance of this kinetic swimmer and show that it depends sensitively on where the force is exerted, so that there is no general force-velocity relation. We discuss how the conformational cycle of such swimmers should be designed to increase their performance in resisting forces applied at specific points. © 2008 The American Physical Society.