IAM-PIMS-MITACS Distinguished Colloquium Series: Kenneth Breuer (Brown University)

  • Date: 02/21/2011
Kenneth Breuer (Division of Engineering, Brown University)

University of British Columbia


Bacterial Microfluidics: The Physics and Engineering of Swimming Bacteria


Flagellated bacteria, such as E. Coli, propel themselves using
multiple flagella – long, thin helical filaments – that are rotated
using nanoscale motors. We will discuss a few aspects of the fluid
mechanics associated with bacterial motility, studied using scale
modeling, numerical simulations and microscale experiments. The
phenomena explored include the mechanics of flagellar bundling, in which
several distinct filaments combine into a single helical bundle via
viscous hydrodynamic interactions, the flow fields associated with
viscous helical motions, and mechanisms for hydrodynamic synchronization
of adjacent flagella motion. We will also briefly show how the
flagella motion can be harnessed in engineered systems to enhance low
Reynolds number mixing, to pump fluids, and to transport objects through
microfluidic systems.




Kenny Breuer received his ScB degree from Brown and his MSc and PhD
from MIT. He spent nine years on the faculty of MIT in the Department of
Aeronautics and Astronautics, before returning to Brown in 1999. His
research interests are in fluid mechanics, covering a wide range of
topics, including the physics of flows at micron and nanometer scales,
animal flight (bat flight in particular), and the physics and control of
turbulent flows. He is author of over one hundred refereed technical
publications, and has edited and co-authored several books, including
"Microscale Diagnostic Techniques", "A Gallery of Fluid Motion", and
"Multimedia Fluid Mechanics". 


Abstracts / Downloads / Reports: 

3:00pm-4:00pm, LSK 301

Other Information: 

This is the 3rd lecture of the 2010-11 IAM-PIMS-MITACS
Distinguished Colloquium Series. For full details, visit: