Reduction of viscosity in suspension of swimming bacteria

Andrey Sokolov, Igor S. Aranson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

231 Scopus citations

Abstract

Measurements of the shear viscosity in suspensions of swimming Bacillus subtilis in free-standing liquid films have revealed that the viscosity can decrease by up to a factor of 7 compared to the viscosity of the same liquid without bacteria or with nonmotile bacteria. The reduction in viscosity is observed in two complementary experiments: one studying the decay of a large vortex induced by a moving probe and another measuring the viscous torque on a rotating magnetic particle immersed in the film. The viscosity depends on the concentration and swimming speed of the bacteria.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number148101
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Volume103
Issue number14
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 29 2009

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

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