Document Type


Publication Date



Motility behavior of an engineered chemosensory particle (ECP) in fluidic environments is driven by its responses to chemical stimuli. One of the challenges to understanding such behaviors lies in tracking changes in chemical signal gradients of chemoattractants and ECP-fluid dynamics as the fluid is continuously disturbed by ECP motion. To address this challenge, we introduce a new multiscale numerical model to simulate chemotactic swimming of an ECP in confined fluidic environments by accounting for motility-induced disturbances in spatiotemporal chemoattractant distributions. The model accommodates advective-diffusive transport of unmixed chemoattractants, ECP-fluid hydrodynamics at the ECP-fluid interface, and spatiotemporal disturbances in the chemoattractant concentrations due to particle motion. Demonstrative simulations are presented with an ECP, mimicking Escherichia coli (E. coli) chemotaxis, released into initially quiescent fluids with different source configurations of the chemoattractants N-methyl-L-aspartate and L-serine. Simulations demonstrate that initial distributions and temporal evolution of chemoattractants and their release modes (instantaneous vs. continuous, point source vs. distributed) dictate time histories of chemotactic motility of an ECP. Chemotactic motility is shown to be largely determined by spatiotemporal variation in chemoattractant concentration gradients due to transient disturbances imposed by ECP-fluid hydrodynamics, an observation not captured in previous numerical studies that relied on static chemoattractant concentration fields.





Publication Information


Included in

Mathematics Commons