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Micromachines 2019, 10(1), 33; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi10010033

Stability of a Dumbbell Micro-Swimmer

1
Department Finemechanics, Graduate School of Engineering, Tohoku University, Miyagi Prefecture 980-8579, Japan
2
Graduate School of Biomedical Engineering, Tohoku University, Miyagi Prefecture 980-8579, Japan
Received: 6 November 2018 / Accepted: 20 November 2018 / Published: 7 January 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microswimmer)
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Abstract

A squirmer model achieves propulsion by generating surface squirming velocities. This model has been used to analyze the movement of micro-swimmers, such as microorganisms and Janus particles. Although squirmer motion has been widely investigated, motions of two connected squirmers, i.e., a dumbbell squirmer, remain to be clarified. The stable assembly of multiple micro-swimmers could be a key technology for future micromachine applications. Therefore, in this study, we investigated the swimming behavior and stability of a dumbbell squirmer. We first examined far-field stability through linear stability analysis, and found that stable forward swimming could not be achieved by a dumbbell squirmer in the far field without the addition of external torque. We then investigated the swimming speed of a dumbbell squirmer connected by a short rigid rod using a boundary element method. Finally, we investigated the swimming stability of a dumbbell squirmer connected by a spring. Our results demonstrated that stable side-by-side swimming can be achieved by pullers. When the aft squirmer was a strong pusher, fore and aft swimming were stable and swimming speed increased significantly. The findings of this study will be useful for the future design of assembled micro-swimmers. View Full-Text
Keywords: squirmer; locomotion; Stokes flow; hydrodynamic interaction; linear stability analysis; boundary element method squirmer; locomotion; Stokes flow; hydrodynamic interaction; linear stability analysis; boundary element method
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Ishikawa, T. Stability of a Dumbbell Micro-Swimmer. Micromachines 2019, 10, 33.

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