The mechanical forces exerted by active fluids may provide an effective way of transporting microscopic objects, but the details remain elusive. Using space modulated activity, Pellicciotta et al. generate active pressure gradients capable of transporting passive particles in controlled directions.Active fluids, like all other fluids, exert mechanical pressure on confining walls. Unlike equilibrium, this pressure is generally not a function of the fluid state in the bulk and displays some peculiar properties. For example, when activity is not uniform, fluid regions with different activity may exert different pressures on the container walls but they can coexist side by side in mechanical equilibrium. Here we show that by spatially modulating bacterial motility with light, we can generate active pressure gradients capable of transporting passive probe particles in controlled directions. Although bacteria swim faster in the brighter side, we find that bacteria in the dark side apply a stronger pressure resulting in a net drift motion that points away from the low activity region. Using a combination of experiments and numerical simulations, we show that this drift originates mainly from an interaction pressure term that builds up due to the compression exerted by a layer of polarized cells surrounding the slow region. In addition to providing new insights into the generalization of pressure for interacting systems with non-uniform activity, our results demonstrate the possibility of exploiting active pressure for the controlled transport of microscopic objects.

Colloidal transport by light induced gradients of active pressure / Pellicciotta, Nicola; Paoluzzi, Matteo; Buonomo, Dario; Frangipane, Giacomo; Angelani, Luca; DI LEONARDO, Roberto. - In: NATURE COMMUNICATIONS. - ISSN 2041-1723. - 14:1(2023), p. 4191. [10.1038/s41467-023-39974-5]

Colloidal transport by light induced gradients of active pressure

Nicola Pellicciotta;Matteo Paoluzzi;Giacomo Frangipane;Luca Angelani;Roberto Di Leonardo
2023

Abstract

The mechanical forces exerted by active fluids may provide an effective way of transporting microscopic objects, but the details remain elusive. Using space modulated activity, Pellicciotta et al. generate active pressure gradients capable of transporting passive particles in controlled directions.Active fluids, like all other fluids, exert mechanical pressure on confining walls. Unlike equilibrium, this pressure is generally not a function of the fluid state in the bulk and displays some peculiar properties. For example, when activity is not uniform, fluid regions with different activity may exert different pressures on the container walls but they can coexist side by side in mechanical equilibrium. Here we show that by spatially modulating bacterial motility with light, we can generate active pressure gradients capable of transporting passive probe particles in controlled directions. Although bacteria swim faster in the brighter side, we find that bacteria in the dark side apply a stronger pressure resulting in a net drift motion that points away from the low activity region. Using a combination of experiments and numerical simulations, we show that this drift originates mainly from an interaction pressure term that builds up due to the compression exerted by a layer of polarized cells surrounding the slow region. In addition to providing new insights into the generalization of pressure for interacting systems with non-uniform activity, our results demonstrate the possibility of exploiting active pressure for the controlled transport of microscopic objects.
2023
active matter; colloids;
01 Pubblicazione su rivista::01a Articolo in rivista
Colloidal transport by light induced gradients of active pressure / Pellicciotta, Nicola; Paoluzzi, Matteo; Buonomo, Dario; Frangipane, Giacomo; Angelani, Luca; DI LEONARDO, Roberto. - In: NATURE COMMUNICATIONS. - ISSN 2041-1723. - 14:1(2023), p. 4191. [10.1038/s41467-023-39974-5]
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11573/1687790
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