Publication in Physical Review Letters
Local sensing helps run-and-tumble particles find their optimal path through an environment of obstacles
News from Apr 05, 2022
It has recently been reported that bacteria, such as E.coli and P. putida, perform distinct modes of motion when placed in porous media as compared to dilute regions or free space. This has led us to suggest an efficient strategy for active particles in a disordered environment: reorientations are suppressed in locally dilute regions and intensified in locally dense ones. Thereby the local geometry determines the optimal path of the active agent and substantially accelerates the dynamics by up to two orders of magnitude. We observe a non-monotonic behaviour of the diffusion coefficient as a function of the tumbling rate and identify a localisation transition, either by increasing the density of obstacles or by decreasing the reorientation rate.
E. Irani, Z. Mokhtari, and A. Zippelius,
Dynamics of Bacteria Scanning a Porous Environment,
Phys. Rev. Lett. 128, 144501 (2022)