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Exploring the sensitivity in jellyfish locomotion under variations in scale, frequency, and duty cycle

Abstract

Jellyfish have been called one of the most energy-efficient animals in the world due to the ease in which they move through their fluid environment, by product of their bell kinematics coupled with their morphological, muscular, material properties. We investigated jellyfish locomotion by conducting in silico comparative studies and explored swimming performance across different fluid scales (i.e., Reynolds Number), bell contraction frequencies, and contraction phase kinematics (duty cycle) for a jellyfish with a fineness ratio of 1 (ratio of bell height to bell diameter). To study these relationships, an open source implementation of the immersed boundary method was used (IB2d) to solve the fully coupled fluid–structure interaction problem of a flexible jellyfish bell in a viscous fluid. Thorough 2D parameter subspace explorations illustrated optimal parameter combinations in which give rise to enhanced swimming performance. All performance metrics indicated a higher sensitivity to bell actuation frequency than fluid scale or duty cycle, via Sobol sensitivity analysis, on a higher performance parameter subspace. Moreover, Pareto-like fronts were identified in the overall performance space involving the cost of transport and forward swimming speed. Patterns emerged within these performance spaces when highlighting different parameter regions, which complemented the global sensitivity results. Lastly, an open source computational model for jellyfish locomotion is offered to the science community that can be used as a starting place for future numerical experimentation.

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Acknowledgements

The authors would like to thank Laura Miller and Alexander Hoover for sharing their knowledge of jellyfish locomotion and Yoshiko Battista for introducing NAB to the world of marine life. We would also like to thank Matthew Mizuhara for his help with the sensitivity analysis and Shawn Sivy for his guidance on using TCNJ’s HPC more efficiently. We would also like to thank Christina Battista, Robert Booth, Christina Hamlet, Arvind Santhanakrishnan, Emily Slesinger, and Lindsay Waldrop for comments and discussion. J.G.M. was partially funded by the Bonner Community Scholars Program and Innovative Projects in Computational Science Program (NSF DUE #1356235) at TCNJ. Computational resources were provided by the NSF OAC #1826915 and the NSF OAC #1828163. Support for N.A.B. was provided by the TCNJ Support of Scholarly Activity Grant, the TCNJ Department of Mathematics and Statistics, and the TCNJ School of Science.

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Miles, J.G., Battista, N.A. Exploring the sensitivity in jellyfish locomotion under variations in scale, frequency, and duty cycle. J. Math. Biol. 83, 56 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00285-021-01678-z

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Keywords

  • Jellyfish
  • Aquatic locomotion
  • Fluid–structure interaction
  • Immersed boundary method
  • Biological fluid dynamics
  • Computational fluid dynamics
  • Sensitivity analysis

Mathematics Subject Classification

  • 76Z10
  • 92C10
  • 92-10