A combined rheometry and imaging study of viscosity reduction in bacterial suspensions

Vincent Arnaud Martinez, Eric Clement, Jochen Arlt, Carine Douarche, Angela Dawson, Jana Schwarz-Linek, Adama K Creppy, Viktor Skultety, Alexander Morozov, Harold Auradou, Wilson Poon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Suspending self-propelled ‘pushers’ in a liquid lowers its viscosity.
We study how this phenomenon depends on system size in bacterial
suspensions using bulk rheometry and particle-tracking rheoimaging.
Above the critical bacterial volume fraction needed to decrease
the viscosity to zero, c 0.75%, large-scale collective motion
emerges in the quiescent state and the flow becomes non-linear. We
confirm a theoretical prediction that such instability should be suppressed
by confinement. Our results also show that a recent application
of active liquid crystal theory to such systems is untenable.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2326-2331
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Volume117
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 21 Jan 2020

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