Instability of expanding bacterial droplets

Andrey Sokolov, Leonardo Dominguez Rubio, John F. Brady, Igor Aronson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Suspensions of motile bacteria or synthetic microswimmers, termed active matter, manifest a remarkable propensity for self-organization, and formation of large-scale coherent structures. Most active matter research deals with almost homogeneous in space systems and little is known about the dynamics of strongly heterogeneous active matter. Here we report on experimental and theoretical studies on the expansion of highly concentrated bacterial droplets into an ambient bacteria-free fluid. The droplet is formed beneath a rapidly rotating solid macroscopic particle inserted in the suspension. We observe vigorous instability of the droplet reminiscent of a violent explosion. The phenomenon is explained in terms of continuum first-principle theory based on the swim pressure concept. Our findings provide insights into the dynamics of active matter with strong density gradients and significantly expand the scope of experimental and analytic tools for control and manipulation of active systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1322
JournalNature communications
Volume9
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2018

Fingerprint

Suspensions
Bacteria
Explosions
bacteria
Theoretical Models
Pressure
Research
explosions
manipulators
Fluids
continuums
gradients
expansion
fluids

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

Cite this

Sokolov, Andrey ; Rubio, Leonardo Dominguez ; Brady, John F. ; Aronson, Igor. / Instability of expanding bacterial droplets. In: Nature communications. 2018 ; Vol. 9, No. 1.
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Instability of expanding bacterial droplets. / Sokolov, Andrey; Rubio, Leonardo Dominguez; Brady, John F.; Aronson, Igor.

In: Nature communications, Vol. 9, No. 1, 1322, 01.12.2018.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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