How bacteria sense local chemical gradients and decide to move has been a fascinating area of recent study. Chemotaxis of bacterial populations has been traditionally modeled using either individual-based models describing the motion of a single bacterium as a velocity jump process, or macroscopic PDE models that describe the evolution of the bacterial density. In these models, the hydrodynamic interaction between the bacteria is usually ignored. However, hydrodynamic interaction has been shown to induce collective bacterial motion and self-organization resulting in larger mesoscale structures. In this paper, the role of hydrodynamic interactions in bacterial chemotaxis is investigated by extending a hybrid computational model that incorporates hydrodynamic interactions and adding components from a classical velocity jump model. It is shown that by including hydrodynamic interactions, a suspension with a low initial volume fraction can exhibit locally high concentrations in bacterial aggregates. Also, it is shown that hydrodynamic interactions enhance the merging of the small aggregates into larger ones and lead to qualitatively different aggregate behavior than possible with pure chemotaxis models. Namely, differences in the shape, number, and dynamics of these emergent clusters.
Ryan, Shawn D., "Role of Hydrodynamic Interactions in Chemotaxis of Bacterial Populations" (2020). Mathematics Faculty Publications. 336.
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