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Entropy 2017, 19(3), 97; doi:10.3390/e19030097

Taxis of Artificial Swimmers in a Spatio-Temporally Modulated Activation Medium

1
Institute of Physics, University of Augsburg, D-86135 Augsburg, Germany
2
Nanosystems Initiative Munich, Schellingstraße 4, D-80799 München, Germany
3
Department of Physics, National University of Singapore, 117551 Singapore, Singapore
4
Center for Phononics and Thermal Energy Science, School of Physics Science and Engineering, Tongji University, Shanghai 200092, China
5
Dipartimento di Fisica, Università di Camerino, I-62032 Camerino, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Giancarlo Franzese, Ivan Latella and Miguel Rubi
Received: 19 January 2017 / Revised: 23 February 2017 / Accepted: 27 February 2017 / Published: 3 March 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nonequilibrium Phenomena in Confined Systems)
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Abstract

Contrary to microbial taxis, where a tactic response to external stimuli is controlled by complex chemical pathways acting like sensor-actuator loops, taxis of artificial microswimmers is a purely stochastic effect associated with a non-uniform activation of the particles’ self-propulsion. We study the tactic response of such swimmers in a spatio-temporally modulated activating medium by means of both numerical and analytical techniques. In the opposite limits of very fast and very slow rotational particle dynamics, we obtain analytic approximations that closely reproduce the numerical description. A swimmer drifts on average either parallel or anti-parallel to the propagation direction of the activating pulses, depending on their speed and width. The drift in line with the pulses is solely determined by the finite persistence length of the active Brownian motion performed by the swimmer, whereas the drift in the opposite direction results from the combination of the ballistic and diffusive properties of the swimmer’s dynamics. View Full-Text
Keywords: microswimmers; taxis; inhomogeneous activating medium microswimmers; taxis; inhomogeneous activating medium
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Geiseler, A.; Hänggi, P.; Marchesoni, F. Taxis of Artificial Swimmers in a Spatio-Temporally Modulated Activation Medium. Entropy 2017, 19, 97.

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