The European Physical Journal Special Topics

, Volume 225, Issue 11, pp 2079–2097

Low Reynolds number hydrodynamics and mesoscale simulations

  • Roland G. Winkler
Review Methods and Concepts

DOI: 10.1140/epjst/e2016-60087-9

Cite this article as:
Winkler, R.G. Eur. Phys. J. Spec. Top. (2016) 225: 2079. doi:10.1140/epjst/e2016-60087-9
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Microswimmers – From Single Particle Motion to Collective Behaviour


Hydrodynamics and hydrodynamic interactions are fundamental for the motility of microswimmers. This includes the propulsion mechanism itself, the synchronized motion of flagella in flagellar bundles and beating cilia of cilia arrays, and even extends to collective behaviors. The general importance of hydrodynamics has stimulated the development of mesoscale simulation approaches to efficiently study dynamical properties of objects embedded in a fluid. In this minireview, the properties of flows at low Reynolds numbers are discussed, thereby the unsteady acceleration term is typically taken into account (Landau-Lifshitz Navier-Stokes equations). Specifically, the synchronization of microrotors by time-dependent hydrodynamic interactions is discussed and the propulsion of a rotating helix. Moreover, the multiparticle collisions dynamics method (MPC), a mesoscale simulation approach for fluids, is outlined. Simulation results for the flow field of a model E. Coli bacterium and its swimming behavior next to a surface are presented.

Copyright information

© EDP Sciences and Springer 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Roland G. Winkler
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute for Advanced Simulation & Institute of Complex Systems, Forschungszentrum JülichJülichGermany

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