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Biomicrofluidics. 2009 Mar 26;3(1):14105. doi: 10.1063/1.3105106.

Three-dimensional two-component velocity measurement of the flow field induced by the Vorticella picta microorganism using a confocal microparticle image velocimetry technique.

Abstract

Understanding the biological feeding strategy and characteristics of a microorganism as an actuator requires the detailed and quantitative measurement of flow velocity and flow rate induced by the microorganism. Although some velocimetry methods have been applied to examine the flow, the measured dimensions were limited to at most two-dimensional two-component measurements. Here we have developed a method to measure three-dimensional two-component flow velocity fields generated by the microorganism Vorticella picta using a piezoscanner and a confocal microscope. We obtained the two-component velocities of the flow field in a two-dimensional plane denoted as the XY plane, with an observation area of 455x341 mum(2) and the resolution of 9.09 mum per each velocity vector by a confocal microparticle image velocimetry technique. The measurement of the flow field at each height took 37.5 ms, and it was repeated in 16 planes with a 2.50 mum separation in the Z direction. We reconstructed the three-dimensional two-component flow velocity field. From the reconstructed data, the flow velocity field [u((x,y,z)),v((x,y,z))] in an arbitrary plane can be visualized. The flow rates through YZ and ZX planes were also calculated. During feeding, we examined a suction flow to the mouth of the Vorticella picta and measured it to be to 300 pls.

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