Dynamics and steady state of squirmer motion in liquid crystal

Leonid Berlyand, Hai Chi, Mykhailo Potomkin, Nung Kwan Yip

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We analyse a nonlinear partial differential equation system describing the motion of a microswimmer in a nematic liquid crystal environment. For the microswimmer's motility, the squirmer model is used in which self-propulsion enters the model through the slip velocity on the microswimmer's surface. The liquid crystal is described using the well-established Beris-Edwards formulation. In previous computational studies, it was shown that the squirmer, regardless of its initial configuration, eventually orients itself either parallel or perpendicular to the preferred orientation dictated by the liquid crystal. Furthermore, the corresponding solution of the coupled nonlinear system converges to a steady state. In this work, we rigorously establish the existence of steady state and also the finite-time existence for the time-dependent problem in a periodic domain. Finally, we will use a two-scale asymptotic expansion to derive a homogenised model for the collective swimming of squirmers as they reach their steady-state orientation and speed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalEuropean Journal of Applied Mathematics
StateAccepted/In press - 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Applied Mathematics

Cite this