Optimal Design of Bacterial Carpets for Fluid Pumping

Minghao W. Rostami, Weifan Liu, Amy Buchmann, Eva Strawbridge, Longhua Zhao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


In this work, we outline a methodology for determining optimal helical flagella placement and phase shift that maximize fluid pumping through a rectangular flow meter above a simulated bacterial carpet. This method uses a Genetic Algorithm (GA) combined with a gradient-based method, the Broyden-Fletcher-Goldfarb-Shanno (BFGS) algorithm, to solve the optimization problem and the Method of Regularized Stokeslets (MRS) to simulate the fluid flow. This method is able to produce placements and phase shifts for small carpets and could be adapted for implementation in larger carpets and various fluid tasks. Our results show that given identical helices, optimal pumping configurations are influenced by the size of the flow meter. We also show that intuitive designs, such as uniform placement, do not always lead to a high-performance carpet.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number25
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2022


  • Bacterial carpets
  • Broyden-Fletcher-Goldfarb-Shanno algorithm
  • Fluid pumping
  • Genetic algorithm
  • Method of regularized Stokeslets

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes


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