Efficient implementation of elastohydrodynamics via integral operators

A. L. Hall-McNair, T. D. Montenegro-Johnson, Hermes Gadêlha, Dave Smith, M. T. Gallagher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)
152 Downloads (Pure)


The dynamics of geometrically nonlinear flexible filaments play an important role in a host of biological processes, from flagella-driven cell transport to the polymeric structure of complex fluids. Such problems have historically been computationally expensive due to numerical stiffness associated with the inextensibility constraint, as well as the often nontrivial boundary conditions on the governing high-order PDEs. Formulating the problem for the evolving shape of a filament via an integral equation in the tangent angle has recently been found to greatly alleviate this numerical stiffness. The contribution of the present manuscript is to enable the simulation of nonlocal interactions of multiple filaments in a computationally efficient manner using the method of regularized stokeslets within this framework. The proposed method is benchmarked against a nonlocal bead and link model, and recent code utilizing a local drag velocity law. Systems of multiple filaments (1) in a background fluid flow, (2) under a constant body force, and (3) undergoing active self-motility are modeled efficiently. Buckling instabilities are analyzed by examining the evolving filament curvature, as well as by coarse graining the body frame tangent angles using a Chebyshev approximation for various choices of the relevant nondimensional parameters. From these experiments, insight is gained into how filament-filament interactions can promote buckling, and further reveal the complex fluid dynamics resulting from arrays of these interacting fibers. By examining active moment-driven filaments, we investigate the speed of worm- A nd spermlike swimmers for different governing parameters. The matlab® implementation is made available as an open-source library, enabling flexible extension for alternate discretizations and different surrounding flows.

Original languageEnglish
Article number113101
Number of pages24
JournalPhysical Review Fluids
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 12 Nov 2019


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