Acta Mechanica Sinica

, Volume 33, Issue 4, pp 663–684 | Cite as

Unsteady bio-fluid dynamics in flying and swimming

  • Hao Liu
  • Dmitry Kolomenskiy
  • Toshiyuki Nakata
  • Gen Li
Review Paper


Flying and swimming in nature present sophisticated and exciting ventures in biomimetics, which seeks sustainable solutions and solves practical problems by emulating nature’s time-tested patterns, functions, and strategies. Bio-fluids in insect and bird flight, as well as in fish swimming are highly dynamic and unsteady; however, they have been studied mostly with a focus on the phenomena associated with a body or wings moving in a steady flow. Characterized by unsteady wing flapping and body undulation, fluid-structure interactions, flexible wings and bodies, turbulent environments, and complex maneuver, bio-fluid dynamics normally have challenges associated with low Reynolds number regime and high unsteadiness in modeling and analysis of flow physics. In this article, we review and highlight recent advances in unsteady bio-fluid dynamics in terms of leading-edge vortices, passive mechanisms in flexible wings and hinges, flapping flight in unsteady environments, and micro-structured aerodynamics in flapping flight, as well as undulatory swimming, flapping-fin hydrodynamics, body–fin interaction, C-start and maneuvering, swimming in turbulence, collective swimming, and micro-structured hydrodynamics in swimming. We further give a perspective outlook on future challenges and tasks of several key issues of the field.


Flying Swimming Unsteady bio-fluid dynamics Aerodynamics Hydrodynamics Biomimetics 



H. Liu was partly supported by the Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research on Innovative Areas (Grant 24120007) from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS). D.K. acknowledged the financial support from the JSPS Postdoctoral Fellowship.


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Copyright information

© The Chinese Society of Theoretical and Applied Mechanics; Institute of Mechanics, Chinese Academy of Sciences and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Graduate School of EngineeringChiba UniversityInage-kuJapan
  2. 2.Shanghai-Jiao Tong University and Chiba University International Cooperative Research Centre (SJTU-CU ICRC)ShanghaiChina

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