Coarse-Graining the Fluid Flow around a Human Sperm

Phys Rev Lett. 2017 Mar 24;118(12):124501. doi: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.118.124501. Epub 2017 Mar 23.


The flagellar beat is extracted from human sperm digital imaging microscopy and used to determine the flow around the cell and its trajectory, via boundary element simulation. Comparison of the predicted cell trajectory with observation demonstrates that simulation can predict fine-scale sperm dynamics at the qualitative level. The flow field is also observed to reduce to a time-dependent summation of regularized Stokes flow singularities, approximated at leading order by a blinking force triplet. Such regularized singularity decompositions may be used to upscale cell level detail into population models of human sperm motility.

MeSH terms

  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Computer Simulation*
  • Flagella
  • Humans
  • Hydrodynamics*
  • Male
  • Models, Biological
  • Sperm Motility*