Artificial rheotaxis

J.A. Palacci, S. Sacanna, A. Abramian, J. Barral, K. Hanson, A.Y. Grosberg, D.J. Pine, P.M. Chaikin, Science Advances 1 (2015).

OA 2015_ScienceAdvances_Palacci.pdf 2.42 MB

Journal Article | Published | English

Scopus indexed
Palacci, Jérémie AIST Austria; Sacanna, Stefano; Abramian, Anaïs; Barral, Jérémie; Hanson, Kasey; Grosberg, Alexander Y.; Pine, David J.; Chaikin, Paul M.
Motility is a basic feature of living microorganisms, and how it works is often determined by environmental cues. Recent efforts have focused on developing artificial systems that can mimic microorganisms, in particular their self-propulsion. We report on the design and characterization of synthetic self-propelled particles that migrate upstream, known as positive rheotaxis. This phenomenon results from a purely physical mechanism involving the interplay between the polarity of the particles and their alignment by a viscous torque. We show quantitative agreement between experimental data and a simple model of an overdamped Brownian pendulum. The model notably predicts the existence of a stagnation point in a diverging flow. We take advantage of this property to demonstrate that our active particles can sense and predictably organize in an imposed flow. Our colloidal system represents an important step toward the realization of biomimetic microsystems with the ability to sense and respond to environmental changes.
Publishing Year
Date Published
Journal Title
Science Advances
Article Number

Cite this

Palacci JA, Sacanna S, Abramian A, et al. Artificial rheotaxis. Science Advances. 2015;1(4). doi:10.1126/sciadv.1400214
Palacci, J. A., Sacanna, S., Abramian, A., Barral, J., Hanson, K., Grosberg, A. Y., … Chaikin, P. M. (2015). Artificial rheotaxis. Science Advances. American Association for the Advancement of Science .
Palacci, Jérémie A, Stefano Sacanna, Anaïs Abramian, Jérémie Barral, Kasey Hanson, Alexander Y. Grosberg, David J. Pine, and Paul M. Chaikin. “Artificial Rheotaxis.” Science Advances. American Association for the Advancement of Science , 2015.
J. A. Palacci et al., “Artificial rheotaxis,” Science Advances, vol. 1, no. 4. American Association for the Advancement of Science , 2015.
Palacci JA, Sacanna S, Abramian A, Barral J, Hanson K, Grosberg AY, Pine DJ, Chaikin PM. 2015. Artificial rheotaxis. Science Advances. 1(4), e1400214.
Palacci, Jérémie A., et al. “Artificial Rheotaxis.” Science Advances, vol. 1, no. 4, e1400214, American Association for the Advancement of Science , 2015, doi:10.1126/sciadv.1400214.
All files available under the following license(s):
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0):
Main File(s)
Access Level
OA Open Access
Date Uploaded
MD5 Checksum


Marked Publications

Open Data IST Research Explorer


PMID: 26601175
PubMed | Europe PMC

arXiv 1505.05111

Search this title in

Google Scholar