Efficient simulation of filament elastohydrodynamics in three dimensions

Benjamin J. Walker, Kenta Ishimoto, Eamonn A. Gaffney

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9 Citations (SciVal)


Fluid-structure simulations of slender inextensible filaments in a viscous fluid are often plagued by numerical stiffness. Recent coarse-graining studies have reduced the computational requirements of simulating such systems, though they have thus far been limited to the motion of planar filaments. In this paper we extend such frameworks to filament motion in three dimensions, identifying and circumventing coordinate-system singularities introduced by filament parametrization via repeated changes of basis. The resulting methodology enables efficient and rapid study of the motion of flexible filaments in three dimensions, and is readily extensible to a wide range of problems, including filament motion in confined geometries, large-scale active matter simulations, and the motility of mammalian spermatozoa.

Original languageEnglish
Article number123103
JournalPhysical Review Fluids
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 17 Dec 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We are grateful to Prof. Derek Moulton for discussions on elastic filaments, and to Prof. David Smith for discussions on basis rotation. B.J.W. is supported by Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council Grant No. EP/N509711/1. K.I. acknowledges Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology Leading Initiative for Excellent Young Researchers; Japan Society for the Promotion of Science KAKENHI for Young Researcher (Grant No. JP18K13456); and Japan Science and Technology Agency PRESTO Grant No. JPMJPR1921. Elements of the simulations were performed using the cluster computing system within the Research Institute for Mathematical Sciences, Kyoto University.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 authors. Published by the American Physical Society. Published by the American Physical Society under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license. Further distribution of this work must maintain attribution to the author(s) and the published article's title, journal citation, and DOI.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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