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Mechanisms of carrier transport induced by a microswimmer bath.


Kaiser, Andreas; Sokolov, Andrey; Aranson, Igor; Lowen, Hartmut


Recently, it was found that a wedgelike microparticle (referred to as carrier”) which is only allowed to translate but not to rotate exhibits a directed translational motion along the wedge cusp if it is exposed to a bath of microswimmers. Here we model this effect in detail by resolving the microswimmers explicitly using interaction models with different degrees of mutual alignment. Using computer simulations we study the impact of these interactions on the transport efficiency of V-shaped carrier. We show that the transport mechanisms itself strongly depends on the degree of alignment embodied in the modelling of the individual swimmer dynamics. For weak alignment, optimal carrier transport occurs in the turbulent microswimmer state and is induced by swirl depletion inside the carrier. For strong aligning interactions, optimal transport occurs already in the dilute régime and is mediated by a polar cloud of swimmers in the carrier wake pushing the wedge-particle forward. We also demonstrate that the optimal shape of the carrier leading to maximal transport speed depends on the kind of interaction model used.



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