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Title: Instability of Expanding Bacterial Droplets

Suspensions of motile bacteria or synthetic microswimmers, termed active matter, manifest a remarkable propensity for self-organization, and formation of large-scale coherent structures. Most active matter research deals with almost homogeneous in space systems and little is known about the dynamics of strongly heterogeneous active matter. Here in this paper we report on experimental and theoretical studies on the expansion of highly concentrated bacterial droplets into an ambient bacteria-free fluid. The droplet is formed beneath a rapidly rotating solid macroscopic particle inserted in the suspension. We observe vigorous instability of the droplet reminiscent of a violent explosion. The phenomenon is explained in terms of continuum first-principle theory based on the swim pressure concept. Our findings provide insights into the dynamics of active matter with strong density gradients and significantly expand the scope of experimental and analytic tools for control and manipulation of active systems.
Authors:
 [1] ;  [2] ;  [3] ;  [4]
  1. Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States). Materials Science Division
  2. Pennsylvania State Univ., University Park, PA (United States). Dept. of Biomedical Engineering
  3. California Inst. of Technology (CalTech), Pasadena, CA (United States). Division of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering
  4. Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States). Materials Science Division; Pennsylvania State Univ., University Park, PA (United States). Dept. of Biomedical Engineering
Publication Date:
Grant/Contract Number:
AC02-06CH11357
Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Nature Communications
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 9; Journal ID: ISSN 2041-1723
Publisher:
Nature Publishing Group
Research Org:
Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation (NSF); USDOE Office of Science (SC), Basic Energy Sciences (BES) (SC-22). Materials Sciences & Engineering Division
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
59 BASIC BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES
OSTI Identifier:
1459889