EGU21-7183, updated on 04 Mar 2021
EGU General Assembly 2021
© Author(s) 2021. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Modelization of dispersion of swimming bacteria in Poiseuille flow

Akash Ganesh, Romain Rescanieres, Carine Douarche, and Harold Auradou
Akash Ganesh et al.
  • Université Paris-Saclay, CNRS, FAST,France (

We study the shear-induced migration of dilute suspensions of swimming bacteria (modelled as Active elongated Brownian Particles or ABPs) subject to plane Poiseuille flow in a confined channel. By incorporating very simple boundary conditions, we perform numerical simulations of the 3D equations of motion describing the change in position and orientation of the particles. We investigate the effects of confinement, of non-uniform shear and of aspect ratio of the particles on the overall dynamics of the ABPs population.

We particularly study the coupling between the local shear and the change in the orientation of the particles. We thus perform numerical simulations on both the case where the change in the orientation of the ABPs is purely diffusive (decoupled case) and the case where their orientation is coupled to the shear flow (coupled case). We observe that the decoupled case exhibits a Taylor dispersion i.e.  the effective dispersion coefficient of the ABPs along the direction of the flow is proportional to the square of the imposed shear at all shears. 

However, for all the coupled cases we observe a transition from a Taylor to an active-Taylor regime at a critical shear rate, indicating the effect of shear coupling on the orientation dynamics of the particles. This critical shear rate is directly correlated to the degree of confinement. The change in the dispersion coefficient along the direction of the flow as function of the shear rate is in qualitative agreement with previous studies[1]. 

To further understand these results, we also investigate the change in the dispersion coefficient in the other two directions along with the effect of the shape of the particles. We believe that this study should enhance our understanding of dispersion of bacteria through porous media, on surfaces etc. where shear flows are ubiquitous. 

[1] Sandeep Chilukuri, Cynthia H.Collins, and Patrick T. Underhill. Dispersionof flagellated swimming microorganisms in planar poiseuille flow.Physics offluids, 27, (031902):1 –17, 2015

How to cite: Ganesh, A., Rescanieres, R., Douarche, C., and Auradou, H.: Modelization of dispersion of swimming bacteria in Poiseuille flow, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-7183,, 2021.

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