A model of hydrodynamic interaction between swimming bacteria

Vitaliy Gyrya, Igor S. Aranson, Leonid V. Berlyand, Dmitry Karpeev

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


We study the dynamics and interaction of two swimming bacteria, modeled by self-propelled dumbbell-type structures. We focus on alignment dynamics of a coplanar pair of elongated swimmers, which propel themselves either by "pushing" or "pulling" both in three- and quasi-two-dimensional geometries of space. We derive asymptotic expressions for the dynamics of the pair, which complemented by numerical experiments, indicate that the tendency of bacteria to swim in or swim off depends strongly on the position of the propulsion force. In particular, we observe that positioning of the effective propulsion force inside the dumbbell results in qualitative agreement with the dynamics observed in experiments, such as mutual alignment of converging bacteria.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)148-183
Number of pages36
JournalBulletin of Mathematical Biology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Neuroscience
  • Immunology
  • General Mathematics
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Environmental Science
  • Pharmacology
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences
  • Computational Theory and Mathematics


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