AMATH-Grad Students (MS Teams)
Vahid Nourian | University of Waterloo
Modeling of bi-flagellated bacterial locomotion in a viscous fluid
Flagellated bacteria as a subgroup of microorganisms, their roles in the human life and great potentials for using in different areas have been topics of a lot of research in the recent decades. The flagellated bacteria use flexible thin filaments attached to the cell body to induce locomotion. The flagella are usually driven by independent rotary motors powered by the proton motive force. In this regard, magnetotactic bacteria are of particular interest since they can be steered by applying an external magnetic field. In this group of bacteria, Magnetococcus marinus is commonly studied and its biomedical applications for drug delivery have already been examined. Recent experimental observations have shown that M-Marinus travels along a double helical trajectory in the absence of an external magnetic field. These observations provide some clues which can be used to increase our understanding about M-Marinus.
In this talk, I introduce an elastohydrodynamic model to study the motion of a bi-flagellated bacterium with flexible flagella. In this model, Boundary Integral Technique and Kirchhoff Rod Theory are employed respectively to calculate the hydrodynamic forces on the swimmer and model the elastic flagella’s deformations. By changing the geometrical parameters and comparing the results with the experimental observations I try to mimic the motion of M-Marinus and disclose more facts about its morphology and the swimming mechanism.