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SPT: Slender Phoretic Theory of Chemically Active Filaments

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Artificial microswimmers have the potential to revolutionise noninvasive medicine and microfluidics. A large class of these these swimmers self-propel by generating concentration gradients in a surrounding solute, and recent work has suggested that fabricating such swimmers from flexible, thermoresponsive filaments allows their precision navigation. In order to efficiently model such swimmers, we develop a Slender Phoretic Theory (SPT) for the chemohydro- dynamics of microscale autophoretic filaments of arbitrary centreline, as a one- dimensional substitute for inefficient numerical solution of 3D partial differential equations. We show that, unlike other slender body theories, azimuthal effects that appear at first order for curved shapes have a leading order contribution to the swimming kinematics, and consider the effects of curvature for U-, S- and helical filament shapes.

This talk is part of the DAMTP BioLunch series.

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