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The role of optimal vortex formation in biological fluid transport

Dabiri, John O. and Gharib, Morteza (2005) The role of optimal vortex formation in biological fluid transport. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological Sciences, 272 (1572). pp. 1557-1560. ISSN 0962-8452.

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Animal phyla that require macro-scale fluid transport for functioning have repeatedly and often independently converged on the use of jet flows. During flow initiation these jets form fluid vortex rings, which facilitate mass transfer by stationary pumps (e.g. cardiac chambers) and momentum transfer by mobile systems (e.g. jet-propelled swimmers). Previous research has shown that vortex rings generated in the laboratory can be optimized for efficiency or thrust, based on the jet length-to-diameter ratio (L/D), with peak performance occurring at 3.5<L/D<4.5. Attempts to determine if biological jets achieve this optimization have been inconclusive, due to the inability to properly account for the diversity of jet kinematics found across animal phyla. We combine laboratory experiments, in situ observations and a framework that reduces the kinematics to a single parameter in order to quantitatively show that individual animal kinematics can be tuned in correlation with optimal vortex ring formation. This new approach identifies simple rules for effective fluid transport, facilitates comparative biological studies of jet flows across animal phyla irrespective of their specific functions and can be extended to unify theories of optimal jet-based and flapping-based vortex ring formation.

Item Type:Article
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URLURL TypeDescription DOIArticle
Dabiri, John O.0000-0002-6722-9008
Gharib, Morteza0000-0002-2204-9302
Additional Information:© 2005 The Royal Society. Received 21 January 2005. Accepted 19 March 2005. Published online 21 June 2005. We thank I. K. Bartol for kindly providing access to the Lolliguncula data used in this work. This research is supported by National Science Foundation grant 0309671.
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Subject Keywords:vortex rings; fluid transport; cardiovascular flows; swimming; flying
Issue or Number:1572
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20130319-080015706
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:37545
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:19 Mar 2013 22:23
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 04:48

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