Effect of a planar interface on time-averaged locomotion of a spherical squirmer in a viscoelastic fluid

Shahrzad Yazdi, Ali Borhan

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18 Scopus citations


We examine the time-averaged locomotion of a spherical squirmer with reciprocal surface motion near a planar interface in a viscoelastic fluid. The system dynamics is investigated through a phase portrait in the swimming orientation and distance from the interface for three types of swimming gaits, namely, pullers, pushers, and neutral swimmers. To examine the kinematics of locomotion near different types of boundaries, the ratio of viscosities of the two phases adjacent to the planar interface is varied. Our results show that the near-wall attraction layer previously reported for a two-dimensional squirmer does not exist for spherical pullers and pushers. However, the presence of a stable node can attract the swimmer to the vicinity of the interface, depending on the initial swimming direction. In contrast to a two-dimensional neutral squirmer that always swims towards a no-slip boundary, a spherical neutral swimmer moves away from the interface, but the direction of time-averaged rotational velocity favors eventual entrapment of the squirmer at a stable node. We show that the position of the stable node depends on the boundary type and is furthest from the interface for a no-slip boundary.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number093104
JournalPhysics of Fluids
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Computational Mechanics
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes


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