From flagellar undulations to collective motion: predicting the dynamics of sperm suspensions

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Title: From flagellar undulations to collective motion: predicting the dynamics of sperm suspensions
Author(s): Schoeller, S
Keaveny, EE
Item Type: Journal Article
Abstract: Swimming cells and microorganisms are as diverse in their collective dynamics as they are in their indi- vidualshapesandpropulsionmechanisms. Evenforspermcells, whichhaveastereotypedshapeconsisting of a cell body connected to a flexible flagellum, a wide range of collective dynamics is observed spanning from the formation of tightly packed groups to the display of larger-scale, turbulence-like motion. Using a detailed mathematical model that resolves flagellum dynamics, we perform simulations of sperm suspen- sions containing up to 1000 cells and explore the connection between individual and collective dynamics. We find that depending on the level of variation in individual dynamics from one swimmer to another, the sperm exhibit either a strong tendency to aggregate, or the suspension exhibits large-scale swirling. Hydrodynamic interactions govern the formation and evolution of both states. In addition, a quantitative analysis of the states reveals that the flows generated at the time-scale of flagellum undulations contribute significantly to the overall energy in the surrounding fluid, highlighting the importance of resolving these flows.
Date of Acceptance: 18-Feb-2018
ISSN: 1742-5662
Publisher: Royal Society, The
Journal / Book Title: Journal of the Royal Society Interface
Copyright Statement: This paper is embargoed until publication. Once published it will be available fully open access.
Sponsor/Funder: Engineering & Physical Science Research Council (EPSRC)
Funder's Grant Number: EP/P013651/1
Keywords: physics.flu-dyn
MD Multidisciplinary
General Science & Technology
Publication Status: Accepted
Embargo Date: publication subject to indefinite embargo
Appears in Collections:Mathematics
Applied Mathematics and Mathematical Physics
Faculty of Natural Sciences

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