Optimal Hydrodynamic Synchronization of Colloidal Rotors

Jurij Kotar, Luke J Debono, Nicolas Bruot, Stuart J Box, David B Phillips, Stephen H Simpson, Simon Hanna, Pietro Cicuta

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

48 Citations (Scopus)


Synchronization of driven oscillators is a key aspect of flow generation in artificial and biological filaments such as cilia. Previous theoretical and numerical studies have considered the "rotor'' model of a cilium in which the filament is coarse grained into a colloidal sphere driven with a given force law along a predefined trajectory to represent the oscillating motion of the cilium. These studies pointed to the importance of two factors in the emergence of synchronization: the modulation of the driving force around the orbit and the deformability of the trajectory. In this work it is shown via experiments, supported by numerical simulations and theory, that both of these factors are important and can be combined to produce strong synchronization (within a few cycles) even in the presence of thermal noise.
Original languageEnglish
Article number228103
Number of pages5
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number22
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2013


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