Collective escape of chemotactic swimmers through microscopic ratchets

Guillaume Lambert, David Liao, Robert H. Austin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

80 Scopus citations


We report on the emergence of spontaneously forming migrating bands of E.coli bacteria inside a microchannel containing microstructured ratchets. We show that a collection of bacteria is able to migrate against the funnel-shaped barriers by creating and maintaining a chemoattractant gradient. A transition between pure rectification and chemotaxis-driven collective motion is predicted from theoretical models, and is observed experimentally as the initial inoculation density is varied.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number168102
JournalPhysical review letters
Issue number16
StatePublished - Apr 22 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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