Guiding microscale swimmers using teardrop-shaped posts

Megan S. Davies Wykes, Xiao Zhong, Jiajun Tong, Takuji Adachi, Yanpeng Liu, Leif Ristroph, Michael Ward, Michael Shelley, Jun Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The swimming direction of biological or artificial microscale swimmers tends to be randomised over long time-scales by thermal fluctuations. Bacteria use various strategies to bias swimming behaviour and achieve directed motion against a flow, maintain alignment with gravity or travel up a chemical gradient. Herein, we explore a purely geometric means of biasing the motion of artificial nanorod swimmers. These artificial swimmers are bimetallic rods, powered by a chemical fuel, which swim on a substrate printed with teardrop-shaped posts. The artificial swimmers are hydrodynamically attracted to the posts, swimming alongside the post perimeter for long times before leaving. The rods experience a higher rate of departure from the higher curvature end of the teardrop shape, thereby introducing a bias into their motion. This bias increases with swimming speed and can be translated into a macroscopic directional motion over long times by using arrays of teardrop-shaped posts aligned along a single direction. This method provides a protocol for concentrating swimmers, sorting swimmers according to different speeds, and could enable artificial swimmers to transport cargo to desired locations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4681-4688
Number of pages8
JournalSoft Matter
Volume13
Issue number27
DOIs
StatePublished - 2017

Fingerprint

microbalances
chemical fuels
rods
cargo
concentrating
classifying
Nanorods
Sorting
bacteria
travel
nanorods
Bacteria
Gravitation
alignment
curvature
gravitation
gradients
Swimming
Substrates
Direction compound

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics

Cite this

Davies Wykes, M. S., Zhong, X., Tong, J., Adachi, T., Liu, Y., Ristroph, L., ... Zhang, J. (2017). Guiding microscale swimmers using teardrop-shaped posts. Soft Matter, 13(27), 4681-4688. https://doi.org/10.1039/c7sm00203c

Guiding microscale swimmers using teardrop-shaped posts. / Davies Wykes, Megan S.; Zhong, Xiao; Tong, Jiajun; Adachi, Takuji; Liu, Yanpeng; Ristroph, Leif; Ward, Michael; Shelley, Michael; Zhang, Jun.

In: Soft Matter, Vol. 13, No. 27, 2017, p. 4681-4688.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Davies Wykes, MS, Zhong, X, Tong, J, Adachi, T, Liu, Y, Ristroph, L, Ward, M, Shelley, M & Zhang, J 2017, 'Guiding microscale swimmers using teardrop-shaped posts', Soft Matter, vol. 13, no. 27, pp. 4681-4688. https://doi.org/10.1039/c7sm00203c
Davies Wykes MS, Zhong X, Tong J, Adachi T, Liu Y, Ristroph L et al. Guiding microscale swimmers using teardrop-shaped posts. Soft Matter. 2017;13(27):4681-4688. https://doi.org/10.1039/c7sm00203c
Davies Wykes, Megan S. ; Zhong, Xiao ; Tong, Jiajun ; Adachi, Takuji ; Liu, Yanpeng ; Ristroph, Leif ; Ward, Michael ; Shelley, Michael ; Zhang, Jun. / Guiding microscale swimmers using teardrop-shaped posts. In: Soft Matter. 2017 ; Vol. 13, No. 27. pp. 4681-4688.
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