PDE model of a bacterium swimming in a liquid crystal

Theoretical Biology Seminar

Meeting Details

For more information about this meeting, contact Kristin Berrigan, Carina Curto, Jessica Conway, Leonid Berlyand, Wenrui Hao, Timothy Reluga, Vladimir Itskov, Alexander Gavrikov.

Speaker: Mykhailo Potomkin, University of California, Riverside

Abstract: Bacteria often swim in complex biological fluids with properties different from isotropic Newtonian fluid but rather those of liquid crystal. Understanding how a bacterium navigates itself in such an environment is important for treatment strategies of many infectious diseases. Additionally, recent experimental and modeling results have shown that the interaction between orientation order of liquid crystal and activity of micro-swimmers, such as bacteria, leads to novel optical, hydrodynamical, and electrical properties of liquid crystals, as well as emergence of intriguing patterns. To elucidate how the orientation order of liquid crystal affects the motion of an individual bacterium, a nonlinear PDE system coupling liquid crystal hydrodynamics with the model of active micro-swimmer is introduced. In this talk, I will present this PDE system and show that it reveals how the shape of the micro-swimmer and surface properties affect swimming direction. This is joint work with I. Aronson, L. Berlyand, H. Chi, and L. Zhang.


Room Reservation Information

Room Number: 106 McAllister

Date: 02/25/2020

Time: 1:30pm - 2:30pm