Collective Entrainment and Confinement Amplify Transport by Schooling Microswimmers

Chenyu Jin, Yibo Chen, Corinna C. Maass, Arnold J.T.M. Mathijssen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)
164 Downloads (Pure)


Microswimmers can serve as cargo carriers that move deep inside complex flow networks. When a school collectively entrains the surrounding fluid, their transport capacity can be enhanced. This effect is quantified with good agreement between experiments with self-propelled droplets and a confined Brinkman squirmer model. The volume of liquid entrained can be much larger than the droplet itself, amplifying the effective cargo capacity over an order of magnitude, even for dilute schools. Hence, biological and engineered swimmers can efficiently transport materials into confined environments.

Original languageEnglish
Article number088006
JournalPhysical review letters
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 20 Aug 2021


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