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A New Mechanism for Flagella-Like Beating

planar dynamics of a semi-flexible filament anchored at one end and comprised
of connected, self-propelled, spheres were predicted using Brownian dynamics
simulations and continuum elastic theory theory.
For certain parameter ranges the filament undergoes periodic motion. With a
clamped anchor, the filament undergoes flagella-like beating (top right), while
a pivoting end leads to a steadily rotating coiled conformation (bottom right).

simple, experimentally feasible systems that mimic the periodic beating of
eukaryotic cilia and flagella has important implications for controlling fluid
flow at the microscale,
as well as for understanding biological cilia and flagella.

filament configurations at different times are shown in different colors