Model for dynamical coherence in thin films of self-propelled microorganisms

Igor S. Aranson, Andrey Sokolov, John O. Kessler, Raymond E. Goldstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

142 Scopus citations


Concentrated bacterial suspensions spontaneously develop transient spatiotemporal patterns of coherent locomotion whose correlation lengths greatly exceed the size of individual organisms. Continuum models have indicated that a state of uniform swimming order is linearly unstable at finite wavelengths, but have not addressed the nonlinear dynamics of the coherent state, with its biological implications for mixing, transport, and intercellular communication. We investigate a specific model incorporating hydrodynamic interactions in thin-film geometries and show by numerical studies that it displays large scale persistently recurring vortices, as actually observed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number040901
JournalPhysical Review E - Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2 2007

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
  • Statistics and Probability
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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