Generic conditions for hydrodynamic synchronization

Nariya Uchida, Ramin Golestanian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

108 Citations (Scopus)


Synchronization of actively oscillating organelles such as cilia and flagella facilitates self-propulsion of cells and pumping fluid in low Reynolds number environments. To understand the key mechanism behind synchronization induced by hydrodynamic interaction, we study a model of rigid-body rotors making fixed trajectories of arbitrary shape under driving forces that are arbitrary functions of the phase. For a wide class of geometries, we obtain the necessary and sufficient conditions for synchronization of a pair of rotors. We also find a novel synchronized pattern with an oscillating phase shift. Our results shed light on the role of hydrodynamic interactions in biological systems, and could help in developing efficient mixing and transport strategies in microfluidic devices.

Original languageEnglish
Article number058104
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2011 Feb 4


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