We describe simulations of an elastic filament immersed in a fluid and subjected to a body force. The coupling between the fluid flow and the friction that the filament experiences induces bending and alignment perpendicular to the force. With increasing force there are four shape regimes, ranging from slight distortion to an unsteady tumbling motion. We also find marginally stable structures. The instability of these shapes and the alignment are explained by induced bending and nonlocal hydrodynamic interactions. These effects are experimentally relevant for stiff microfilaments.

Phys. Rev. Lett.

Cosentino Lagomarsino, M., Pagonabarraga, I., & Lowe, C. P. (2005). Hydrodynamic induced deformation and orientation of a microscopic elastic filament. Phys.Rev.Lett., 94(Article number: 148104), 1–4. doi:10.1103/physrevlett.94.148104