Inhomogeneous distribution of Chlamydomonas in a cylindrical container with a bubble plume

Yuki Nonaka, Kenji Kikuchi, Keiko Numayama-Tsuruta, Azusa Kage, Hironori Ueno, Takuji Ishikawa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Swimming microalgae show various taxes, such as phototaxis and gravitaxis, which sometimes result in the formation of a cell-rich layer or a patch in a suspension. Despite intensive studies on the effects of shear flow and turbulence on the inhomogeneous distribution of microalgae, the effect of a bubble plume has remained unclear. In this study, we used Chlamydomonas as model microalgae, and investigated the spatial distribution of cells in a cylindrical container with a bubble plume. The results illustrate that cells become inhomogeneously distributed in the suspension due to their motility and photo-responses. A vortical ring distribution was observed below the free surface when the bubble flow rate was sufficiently small. We performed a scaling analysis on the length scale of the vortical ring, which captured the main features of the experimental results. These findings are important in understanding transport phenomena in a microalgae suspension with a bubble plume.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)154-160
Number of pages7
JournalBiology Open
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Feb 15


  • Aeration
  • Biofluid mechanics
  • Flow visualization
  • Microorganism
  • Swimming
  • Vortex


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