Bistability in the synchronization of actuated microfilaments

Hanliang Guo, Lisa Fauci, Michael Shelley, Eva Kanso

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Cilia and flagella are essential building blocks for biological fluid transport and locomotion at the micrometre scale. They often beat in synchrony and may transition between different synchronization modes in the same cell type. Here, we investigate the behaviour of elastic microfilaments, protruding from a surface and driven at their base by a configuration-dependent torque. We consider full hydrodynamic interactions among and within filaments and no slip at the surface. Isolated filaments exhibit periodic deformations, with increasing waviness and frequency as the magnitude of the driving torque increases. Two nearby but independently driven filaments synchronize their beating in-phase or anti-phase. This synchrony arises autonomously via the interplay between hydrodynamic coupling and filament elasticity. Importantly, in-phase and anti-phase synchronization modes are bistable and coexist for a range of driving torques and separation distances. These findings are consistent with experimental observations of in-phase and anti-phase synchronization in pairs of cilia and flagella and could have important implications on understanding the biophysical mechanisms underlying transitions between multiple synchronization modes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)304-323
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Fluid Mechanics
Volume836
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 10 2018

Keywords

  • Biological fluid dynamics
  • low-Reynolds-number flows
  • nonlinear dynamical systems

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering

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