Velocity simulations of a magnetically steered swimmer

Carlos J. Chinchilla, Anna C. Bakenecker, Thorsten M. Buzug


Magnetic manipulation enables to perform medical procedures in an untethered minimal invasive fashion. Hence, the importance of investigating such methods has acquired relevance. Numeric simulations were performed on the translational velocity of swimmers. It has been previously shown that these swimmers can be magnetically steered due to rotating magnetic fields. In the first study, the swimmer velocity is evaluated for different rotation frequencies in water. Consecutively, another study evaluates the velocity of a swimmer in media of different viscosities, to emulate conditions of different body fluids.

A numeric, time-dependent study was performed with Comsol Multiphysics to study the swimmer’s velocity under different conditions. The swimmer has following dimensions in the first and second study, respectively: length of 3 mm and diameter of 1.2 mm, length of 4.5 mm and a diameter of 1.8 mm. The rotation of the swimmer is emulated with the Solid Mechanics interface. The frequency of rotation was varied for the first study (5,10,15 Hz) and fixed at 10 Hz for the viscosity study. The viscosity was varied between those of pure water and 22 mPa s. The laminar flow interface simulates the response of the medium (water) upon the movement of the swimmer. The mesh was selected to be physics-controlled, with a coarser size.

Both swimmers reach velocities in the order of few mm/s. Simulations for the first study suggested an in- crease in the swimmer’s velocity for higher values of the frequency of rotation. Moreover, the study on the viscosity of the medium showed a decrease in the swimmer’s velocity with increasing viscosity.

Numerical simulations to study the velocity of a magnetically steered swimmer were successfully achieved. Two different studies were performed with Comsol Multiphysics to analyse the effects on the swimmer’s ve- locity due to a variation in the frequency of rotation and the viscosity of the medium.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2020
Event54. Jahrestagung der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Biomedizinische Technik - Online-Konferenz
Duration: 29.09.202001.10.2020


Conference54. Jahrestagung der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Biomedizinische Technik
Abbreviated titleBMT 2020


Dive into the research topics of 'Velocity simulations of a magnetically steered swimmer'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this