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Boundary integrals, slender bodies and a deforming gel microswimmer

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The motion of microswimmers critically depends on their shape and deformation through its interactions with the surrounding fluid. Understanding this motion therefore requires suitable hydrodynamic models that can be used to reveal the underlying physics of the motion. In this talk I will discuss two separate explorations related to this. First I will discuss how to derive a slender-body theory directly from the boundary integral representation of Stokes flow. This slender body theory can handle arbitrary surface velocities and forces and requires no discussion about singularities and where to place them. Furthermore, similarly to the modified boundary integral representations, modified slender-body theories also exist under suitable conditions on the flow. In the second half of my talk I will then discuss the physics of an experimentally realized deforming gel microswimmer. Specifically I will recap the structure of the experimental swimmer and its motion, before developing simple models to explain its physics.

This talk is part of the DAMTP BioLunch series.

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