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Fine balance of chemotactic and hydrodynamic torques: When microswimmers orbit a pillar just once

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Jin,  Chenyu
Group Active soft matter, Department of Dynamics of Complex Fluids, Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization, Max Planck Society;

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Vachier,  Jérémy
Group Non-equilibrium soft matter, Department of Dynamics of Complex Fluids, Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization, Max Planck Society;

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Maass,  Corinna C.
Group Active soft matter, Department of Dynamics of Complex Fluids, Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

Jin, C., Vachier, J., Bandyopadhyay, S., Macharashvili, T., & Maass, C. C. (2019). Fine balance of chemotactic and hydrodynamic torques: When microswimmers orbit a pillar just once. Physical Review E, 100: 040601(R). doi:10.1103/PhysRevE.100.040601.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0004-E9BF-F
Abstract
We study the detention statistics of self-propelling droplet microswimmers attaching to microfluidic pillars. These droplets show negative autochemotaxis: they shed a persistent repulsive trail of spent fuel that biases them to detach from pillars in a specific size range after orbiting them just once. We have designed a microfluidic assay recording microswimmers in pillar arrays of varying diameter, derived detention statistics via digital image analysis, and interpreted these statistics via the Langevin dynamics of an active Brownian particle model. By comparing data from orbits with and without residual chemical field, we can independently estimate quantities such as hydrodynamic and chemorepulsive torques, chemical coupling constants and diffusion coefficients, as well as their dependence on environmental factors such as wall curvature. This type of analysis is generalizable to many kinds of microswimmers.