University of Cambridge > Talks.cam > DAMTP BioLunch > The mechanics of bacterial flagellar locomotion in viscous and viscoelastic fluids

The mechanics of bacterial flagellar locomotion in viscous and viscoelastic fluids

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Despite the fact that the swimming of flagellated bacteria has been studied for almost fifty years, predicting their swimming in viscous and viscoelastic liquids is still surprisingly controversial. The source of the uncertainty lies in a variety for sources, including the physics of “tumbling” – when the bacterial flagellar bundle unravels – as well as the importance of non-Newtonian effects such as shear thinning and normal stresses. Here, I will report on a series of experiments in which we track individual bacteria as they move through viscous media with varying viscous and viscoelastic properties. in this manner, we can account for individual cell-to-cell variation, and we can tease apart the different influences of bulk viscosity, shear thinning, non-Newtonian normal stresses and the ways in which the run-tumble process changes as these fluid properties vary.

This talk is part of the DAMTP BioLunch series.

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