Generalized-Newtonian fluid transport by an instability-driven filament

Chenglei Wang (Corresponding Author), Simon Gsell, Umberto D'Ortona, Julien Favier

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Cilia are micro-scale hair-like organelles. They can exhibit self-sustained oscillations which play crucial roles in flow transport or locomotion. Recent studies have shown that these oscillations can spontaneously emerge from dynamic instability triggered by internal stresses via a Hopf bifurcation. However, the flow transport induced by an instability-driven cilium still remains unclear, especially when the fluid is non-Newtonian. This study aims at bridging these gaps. Specifically, the cilium is modelled as an elastic filament, and its internal actuation is represented by a constant follower force imposed at its tip. Three generalized Newtonian behaviours are considered, i.e. the shear-thinning, Newtonian and shear-thickening behaviours. Effects of four key factors, including the filament zero-stress shape, Reynolds number , follower-force magnitude and fluid rheology, on the filament dynamics, fluid dynamics and flow transport are explored through direct numerical simulation at of 0.04 to 5 and through a scaling analysis at. The results reveal that even though it is expected that inertia vanishes at, inertial forces do alter the filament dynamics and deteriorate the flow transport at. Regardless of, the flow transport can be improved when the flow is shear thinning or when the follower force increases. Furthermore, a linear stability analysis is performed, and the variation of the filament beating frequency, which is closely correlated with the filament dynamics and flow transport, can be predicted.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberA6
Pages (from-to)A6
JournalJournal of Fluid Mechanics
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jun 2023


  • micro-organism dynamics
  • flow-structure interactions


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