Numerical Investigation of the Effect of Inertia on the Hydrodynamic Interaction of Microorganisms

Master's Thesis


Essential to the dynamics of semi-dilute and dense suspensions, the pair-wise hydrodynamic interactions between swimming microorganisms has been analyzed in several studies in the recent past. However, most studies have focused on the viscous regime, in the absence of inertia. We examine the effects of inertia on the interaction of a pair of model microorganisms in the small to intermediate Reynolds number regime, by means of direct numerical simulations. The results show that the increasing strength of inertia increases the wake momentum and leads to vortex shedding. The hydrodynamic interaction between microorganisms, coupled with their interaction with the disturbed fluid surrounding them, has a marked impact on the trajectories of the interacting swimmers. This causes a significant change in the contact time and dispersion dynamics of microswimmers, with potential important consequences on the collective behavior of microorganisms, as well as on decisive biophysical interactions such as same-species and predator-prey interactions.


Attribute NameValues
  • etd-04142015-163314

Author Anca Ostace
Advisor Arezoo Ardekani
Contributor Gretar Tryggvason, Committee Member
Contributor Sadegh Dabiri, Committee Member
Contributor Arezoo Ardekani, Committee Chair
Degree Level Master's Thesis
Degree Discipline Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering
Degree Name MSME
Defense Date
  • 2015-04-02

Submission Date 2015-04-14
  • United States of America

  • intermediate Reynolds numbers

  • hydrodynamic interaction

  • micro-organisms

  • University of Notre Dame

  • English

Record Visibility Public
Content License
  • All rights reserved

Departments and Units


Please Note: You may encounter a delay before a download begins. Large or infrequently accessed files can take several minutes to retrieve from our archival storage system.