nanorobot propulsion using passive elastic filaments
BITS-Pilani Lab-Oriented-Project , Supervisor: Prof N N Sharma
Swimming in micro/nano domains is a challenge and involves a departure from standard methods of propulsion which are effective at macro domains. Flagella based propulsion is seen extensively in nature and has been proposed as a means of propelling nanorobots. Natural flagella actively consume energy in order to generate bending moments that sustain constant or increasing amplitude along their length. However, for man-made applications fabricating passive elastic filaments to function as flagella is more feasible.This project aims to develop a flagella based propulsion system based on passive elastic filaments. Particularly we are interested in modeling the bending waves that arise in the filament due to an activation mechanism located in the nanorobot body. The elastohydrodynamic problem is solved by using resistive force theory(RFT), a simplified form of Slender Body Theory(SBT). The modeling in 3D of the coupled problem of steady state shape of the filament and nanorobot propulsion has been carried out both analytically as well as numerically using MATLAB. We derive the propulsive characteristics of an elastic filament and optimize the relative dimensions of the nanorobot body and filament to attain optimal swimming efficiency.