3 years ago

Energy-optimal small-amplitude strokes for multi-link microswimmers: Purcell's loops and Taylor's waves reconciled.

Yizhar Or, Antonio DeSimone, François Alouges, Oren Wiezel, Laetitia Giraldi

Micron-scale swimmers move in the realm of negligible inertia, dominated by viscous drag forces. Actuation of artificial micro-robotic swimmers for various biomedical applications is inspired by natural propulsion mechanisms of swimming microorganisms such as bacteria and sperm cells, which perform periodic strokes by waving a slender tail. Finding energy-optimal swimming strokes is a key question with high relevance for both biological and robotic microswimmers. In this paper, we formulate the leading-order dynamics of a slender multi-link microswimmer assuming small-amplitude undulations about its straightened configuration. The energy-optimal stroke for achieving a given displacement at a given period time is obtained as the eigenvalue solution associated with a constrained optimal control problem. Remarkably, the optimal stroke for N-link microswimmer is a trajectory lying within a two-dimensional plane in the space of joint angles. For Purcell's famous three-link model, we analyze the differences between our optimal stroke and that of Tam and Hosoi that maximizes Lighthill's efficiency. For a large number of links N, the optimal stroke becomes a travelling wave with the shortest possible wavelength of three links, in agreement with the well-known result of Taylor's infinite sheet. Finally, we analyze the scaling of minimal swimming energy for large N.

Publisher URL: http://arxiv.org/abs/1801.04687

DOI: arXiv:1801.04687v2

You might also like
Discover & Discuss Important Research

Keeping up-to-date with research can feel impossible, with papers being published faster than you'll ever be able to read them. That's where Researcher comes in: we're simplifying discovery and making important discussions happen. With over 19,000 sources, including peer-reviewed journals, preprints, blogs, universities, podcasts and Live events across 10 research areas, you'll never miss what's important to you. It's like social media, but better. Oh, and we should mention - it's free.

  • Download from Google Play
  • Download from App Store
  • Download from AppInChina

Researcher displays publicly available abstracts and doesn’t host any full article content. If the content is open access, we will direct clicks from the abstracts to the publisher website and display the PDF copy on our platform. Clicks to view the full text will be directed to the publisher website, where only users with subscriptions or access through their institution are able to view the full article.