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Effective diffusivity of microswimmers in a crowded environment

Abstract : The microalga Chlamydomonas Reinhardtii (CR) is used here as a model system to study the effect of complex environments on the swimming of microorganisms. Its motion can be modeled by a run and tumble mechanism so that it describes a persistent random walk from which we can extract an effective diffusion coefficient for the large-time dynamics. In our experiments, the complex medium consists in a series of pillars that are designed in a regular lattice using soft lithography microfabrication. The cells are then introduced in the lattice, and their trajectories within the pillars are tracked and analyzed. The effect of the complex medium on the swimming behavior of microswimmers is analyzed through the measure of relevant statistical observables. In particular, the mean correlation time of direction and the effective diffusion coefficient are shown to decrease when increasing the density of pillars. This provides some bases of understanding for active matter in complex environments.
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Contributor : Benoit Coasne <>
Submitted on : Thursday, May 14, 2020 - 4:16:40 PM
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Marvin Brun-Cosme-Bruny, Eric Bertin, Benoit Coasne, Philippe Peyla, Salima Rafaï. Effective diffusivity of microswimmers in a crowded environment. Journal of Chemical Physics, American Institute of Physics, 2019, 150 (10), pp.104901. ⟨10.1063/1.5081507⟩. ⟨hal-02352712⟩



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