The shape of an elastic filament in a two-dimensional corner flow

Nicolas Autrusson, Laura Guglielmini, Sigolene Lecuyer, Roberto Rusconi, Howard A. Stone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


The deformation of a flexible filament held fixed at one end in a nonuniform viscous flow with curved streamlines is considered, with a focus on the filament dynamics and steady-state shape. Our motivation arises from recent microfluidic experiments on biofilm formation in a channel with bends, where thread-like structures, or streamers, were observed, attached to the side walls downstream of each corner and connecting consecutive corners while floating in the middle plane of the channel [Rusconi et al. J. R. Soc. Interface 7, 1293 (2010)]. We discuss the time evolution and final shape of the filament in different corner geometries as a function of a non-dimensional elasticity parameter that compares viscous and elastic effects. Since the filament develops tension, when the flow has curved streamlines the filament does not align with the flow, as occurs in a rectilinear flow, but rather it crosses the streamlines.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number063602
JournalPhysics of Fluids
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 3 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Computational Mechanics
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes


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