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Lagrangian Flow Skeletons Captured in the Wake of a Swimming Nematode C. elegans Using an Immersed Boundary Fluid-Structure Interaction Approach

Authors: Arash Taheri


In this paper, Lagrangian coherent structure (LCS) concept is applied to wake flows generated in the up/down-stream of a swimming nematode C. elegans in an intermediate Re number range, i.e., 250-1200. It materializes Lagrangian hidden structures depicting flow transport barriers. To pursue the goals, nematode swimming in a quiescent fluid flow environment is numerically simulated by a two-way fluid-structure interaction (FSI) approach with the aid of immersed boundary method (IBM). In this regard, incompressible Navier-Stokes equations, fully-coupled with Lagrangian deformation equations for the immersed body, are solved using IB2d code. For all simulations, nematode’s body is modeled with a parametrized spring-fiber built-in case available in the computational code. Reverse von-Kármán vortex street formation and vortex shedding characteristics are studied and discussed in details via LCS approach, including grid resolution, integration time and Reynolds number effects. Results unveil presence of different flow regions with distinct fluid particle fates in the swimming animal’s wake and formation of so-called ‘mushroom-shaped’ structures in attracting LCS identities.

Keywords: Lagrangian coherent structure, nematode swimming, fluid-structure interaction, immersed boundary method, bionics.

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