Dynamic force patterns of an undulatory microswimmer
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We probe the viscous forces involved in the undulatory swimming of the model organism C. elegans. Using micropipette deflection, we attain direct measurements of lateral and propulsive forces produced in response to the motion of the worm. We observe excellent agreement of the results with resistive force theory, through which we determine the drag coefficients of this organism. The drag coefficients are in accordance with theoretical predictions. Using a simple scaling argument, we obtain a relationship between the size of the worm and the forces that we measure, which well describes our data.
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