A desktop apparatus for studying interactions between microorganisms and small-scale fluid motion

T. A. Warnaars, M. Hondzo, M. A. Carper

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Low levels of kinetic energy dissipation were successfully generated in a reactor using two submersible speakers. A software programme controlled the amplitude and frequency of the signal fed to each speaker and achieved good repeatability of flow conditions. The flow reactor had a near isotropic flow regime with a low mean flow, values were calculated from particle image velocimetry measurements. The flow characteristics compared well with grid turbulence reactors, though as no moving parts are present in this reactor design the strain rates were lower compared to oscillating grid set-ups. The low range of Reynolds numbers based on Taylor microscales (Reλ∼0.5-5.9) covered both turbulent and non-turbulent flow regimes. The small-scale fluid motion produced over the entire volume of this reactor makes it suitable for experiments examining the physiological responses of fluid motion on microorganisms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)431-443
Number of pages13
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jun 2006

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors thank Brett Otteson for his assistance in LabView programming for the speaker setup. This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation NSF: EAR-0120914 grant as part of the National Centre for Earth-surface Dynamics (NCED) at the University of Minnesota.


  • Energy dissipation
  • Isotropy
  • Microorganisms
  • Particle image velocimetry
  • Small-scale turbulence
  • Submersible speakers


Dive into the research topics of 'A desktop apparatus for studying interactions between microorganisms and small-scale fluid motion'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this