Research Papers: Flows in Complex Systems

Characterization and Modeling of Micro Swimmers With Helical Tails and Cylindrical Heads Inside Circular Channels

[+] Author and Article Information
Alperen Acemoglu

Mechatronics Engineering Program,
Faculty of Engineering and Natural Sciences,
Sabanci University,
Istanbul, Turkey 34956
e-mail: aacemoglu@sabanciuniv.edu

F. Zeynep Temel

Mechatronics Engineering Program,
Faculty of Engineering and Natural Sciences,
Sabanci University,
Istanbul, Turkey 34956
e-mail: zeyneptemel@sabanciuniv.edu

Serhat Yesilyurt

Mechatronics Engineering Program,
Faculty of Engineering and Natural Sciences,
Sabanci University,
Istanbul, Turkey 34956
e-mail: syesilyurt@sabanciuniv.edu

Contributed by the Fluids Engineering Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF FLUIDS ENGINEERING. Manuscript received September 10, 2013; final manuscript received March 15, 2014; published online September 10, 2014. Assoc. Editor: Daniel Attinger.

J. Fluids Eng 136(12), 121106 (Sep 10, 2014) (6 pages) Paper No: FE-13-1543; doi: 10.1115/1.4027222 History: Received September 10, 2013; Revised March 15, 2014

Micro swimming robots offer many advantages in biomedical applications, such as delivering potent drugs to specific locations in targeted tissues and organs with limited side effects, conducting surgical operations with minimal damage to healthy tissues, treatment of clogged arteries, and collecting biological samples for diagnostic purposes. Reliable navigation techniques for micro swimmers need to be developed for navigation, positioning, and localization of robots inside the human body in future biomedical applications. In order to develop simple models to estimate trajectories of magnetically actuated micro swimmers blood vessels and other conduits, effects of the channel wall must be understood well. In this study, swimming of one-link robots with helical tails in stationary fluids inside channels is modeled with Stokes equations and solved numerically with the finite-element method. Lateral and angular velocities of the robot are obtained from force free swimming conditions. Effects of the amplitude and number of helical waves, and the relative size of the body of the swimmer and its radial position on angular and linear velocity vectors of the swimmer are presented.

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Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 1

Geometric parameters, coordinate axes, and front and back isometric views of the micro swimmer

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 2

A representation of the finite-element mesh distribution over the surface of the micro swimmer and the portion of the wall near the swimmer

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 9

(a) Swimmer with the body length twice as much as the one used in the base case, (b) base case swimmer, and (c) swimmer with half head length of the base case swimmer

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 10

Linear velocities in x-, y-, and z-directions versus length of the body for the swimmer placed 20 μm away from the wall

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 4

(a) Linear velocity in the x-direction, Usw (blue line with circles), in the y-direction, Vsw (green line with squares), and in the z-direction, Wsw (red line with triangles) versus the distance between the wall and swimmer. (b) Angular velocities about the y- and z-axes versus distance from the channel wall.

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 5

Velocity vectors (arrows) of the flow due to counterclockwise rotation of the swimmer about the x-axis, and the pressure distribution (shaded colors) on the swimmer

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Fig. 6

(a) Linear velocities in x-, y-, and z-directions versus the number of waves for the swimmer placed near the wall. (b) Angular velocities about the y- and z-axes versus the number of waves for the swimmer placed near the wall

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 7

Linear velocities in x-, y-, and z-directions versus wave amplitude for the swimmer placed near the wall

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 8

Distances between swimmer and channel wall, d1, and d2: (a) for base case, B0 = 200 μm and (b) for B0 = 300 μm

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 3

(a) Isometric view of micro swimmer in the channel, (b) back view swimmer in the center of the channel, and (c) back view of the swimmer near the wall



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