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Bacterial collective motion near the contact line of an evaporating sessile drop
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See supplementary material at http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.4901958
for details on the preparation of bacterial suspensions, movies of the contact-line region of evaporating sessile drops containing wild-type (supplementary movie 1), smooth-swimming (supplementary movie 2), and incessantly tumbling E. coli
cells (supplementary movie 3), and the movie of the contact-line region of non-evaporating drop containing wildtype E. coli
cells (supplementary movie 4). [Supplementary Material]
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The near-contact-line dynamics of evaporating sessile drops containing live E. coli cells is studied experimentally. The evaporation of the drop together with its pinned contact-line drives a radially outward fluid flow inside the drop concentrating the suspended cells near the contact-line. Our experiments reveal a collective behavior of the concentrated bacterial population near the contact-line appearing in the form of spatially periodic “bacterial jets” along the circumference of the drop. Based on a physical analysis of the continuum equations of bacterial suspensions, we hypothesize that the patterns result from a concentration instability driven by the active stress of swimming bacteria.
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