Canonical orbits for rapidly deforming planar microswimmers in shear flow

Eamonn A. Gaffney, Mohit P. Dalwadi, Clément Moreau, Kenta Ishimoto, Benjamin J. Walker

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7 Citations (SciVal)


Classically, the rotation of ellipsoids in shear Stokes flow is captured by Jeffery's orbits. Here we demonstrate that Jeffery's orbits also describe high-frequency shape-deforming swimmers moving in the plane of a shear flow, employing only basic properties of Stokes flow and a multiple-scales asymptotic analysis. In doing so, we support the use of these simple models for capturing shape-changing swimmer dynamics in studies of active matter and highlight the ubiquity of ellipsoid-like dynamics in complex systems. This result is robust to weakly confounding effects, such as distant boundaries, and also applies in the low-frequency limit.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberL022101
JournalPhysical Review Fluids
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 18 Feb 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgments. The authors are grateful to Prof. Eric Lauga for interesting and motivating discussions on the separated timescales of motion found in many microswimming problems. C.M. was partially supported by the JSPS Postdoctoral Fellowship program (No. PE20021). K.I. acknowledges JSPS-KAKENHI for Young Researchers (Grant No. 18K13456), JSPS-KAKENHI for Transformative Research Areas (Grant No. 21H05309), and JST, PRESTO, Japan (Grant No. JPMJPR1921). C.M. and K.I. were partially supported by the Research Institute for Mathematical Sciences, an International Joint Usage/Research Center located at Kyoto University. B.J.W. is supported by the Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851 and the U.K. Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), Grant No. EP/R513295/1.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 authors. Published by the American Physical Society.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computational Mechanics
  • Modelling and Simulation
  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes


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