Applied Math Seminar | Sookkyung Lim, Mathematical modeling reveals mysteries of bacterial swimming

Thursday, December 8, 2022 2:00 pm - 2:00 pm EST (GMT -05:00)

MC 6460 and Zoom (


Sookkyung Lim, Department of Mathematical Sciences, University of Cincinnati


Mathematical modeling reveals mysteries of bacterial swimming 


Swimming bacteria with helical flagella are self-propelled micro-swimmers in nature, and the swimming strategies of such bacteria vary depending on the number and the arrangement of flagella on the cell body. In this talk, I will introduce a few different species of microorganisms that belong to either monotrichous, lophotrichous, or peritrichous bacteria. To simulate swimming bacteria in viscous fluid, we have developed the neutrally buoyant rigid body dynamics theory to describe the motion of the cell body that can translate and rotate, and the unconstrained Kirchhoff rod theory to describe the motion of long but thin helical flagella. The hydrodynamic interaction between the fluid and the bacteria is described by the regularized version of Stokes flow. I will focus on how bacteria can swim and reorient swimming course for survival and show how Mathematics can help to understand the swimming mechanism of such bacteria.