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Deflection of phototactic microswimmers through obstacle arrays

Abstract : We study the effect of inhomogeneous environments on the swimming direction of the microalgae \textit{Chlamydomonas Reinhardtii} (CR) in the presence of a light stimulus. Positive or negative phototaxis describe the ability of microorganisms to bias their swimming towards or away from a light source. Here we consider microswimmers with negative phototaxis in a microfluidic device with a microfabricated square lattice of pillars as obstacles. We measured a mean deflection of microswimmers that shows an interesting nonlinear dependence on the direction of the guiding light beam with respect to the symmetry axes of the pillar lattice. By simulating a model swimmer in a pillar lattice and analyzing its scattering behavior, we identified the width of the reorientation distribution of swimmers to be also crucial for the nonlinear behavior of the swimmer deflection. On the basis of these results we suggest in addition an analytical model for microswimmers, where the pillar lattice is replaced by an anisotropic scattering medium, that depends only on a scattering rate and the width of the reorientation distribution of swimmers. This flexible and handy model fits the experimental results as well. The presented analysis of the deflection of light guided swimmers through pillar lattice may be used for separating swimmers having different reorientation distributions.
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Contributor : Salima Rafaï <>
Submitted on : Tuesday, September 22, 2020 - 12:52:27 PM
Last modification on : Tuesday, September 29, 2020 - 2:46:50 PM


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Marvin Brun-Cosme-Bruny, Andre Förtsch, Walter Zimmermann, Eric Bertin, Philippe Peyla, et al.. Deflection of phototactic microswimmers through obstacle arrays. Physical Review Fluids, American Physical Society, In press, 5 (9), ⟨10.1103/PhysRevFluids.5.093302⟩. ⟨hal-02573236v2⟩



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