NJIT Applied Mathematics Colloquium

Friday, December 2, 2011, 11:30am

Cullimore Lecture Hall II
New Jersey Institute of Technology

The mechanics of bacterial motility in viscous and viscoelastic fluids

Kenny Breuer

Brown University

Flagellated bacteria, such as E. Coli, propel themselves using multiple flagella - long, thin helical filaments -  that are rotated using nanoscale motors.  We will discuss a few  aspects of the mechanics associated with bacterial motility, studied using scale modeling, numerical simulations and microscale experiments. The phenomena explored include the swimming speed of cells in viscous and viscoelastic media, the flow fields associated with helical motion of the flagella,  and models for flagella synchronization and bundling due to hydrodynamic interactions between elastic filaments.