The transport of filament-like self-propelled organisms such as elongated bacteria and worms through crowded heterogeneous environments is relevant to many natural and engineering processes, such as infection in complex cellular tissues, transport in soils and biomedical devices. Presently, a theoretical understanding of transport properties of these systems in heterogenous porous media is lacking. To fill the theoretical gap, we aim at performing systematic Langevin dynamics simulations of semiflexible active chains (bead-spring models) in periodic and disordered arrays of obstacles. You will study the statistical properties of active chains such as chain conformations and diffusion through the obstacles and will explore the effect of the chain length, bending stiffness and density of obstacles on the diffusion of center of mass of the chain in the labyrinths of porous media. This project will be done in collaboration with the experimental groups of Antoine Deblais and Daniel Bonn who will investigate the dynamics of T. Tubifex worms and robotic worms in porous media.

F. Hofling and T. Franosch, Rep. Prog. Phys. 76, 046602 (2013) Z. Mokhtari and A. Zippelius Phys. Rev. Lett. 123, 028001 (2019)

Contact: Dr. Sara Jabbari Farouji (