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Biomechanics of insect respiration

Insects, and most terrestrial arthropods, breathe using  complex network of inelastic, but collapsible tracheal tubes. This may be nature's paradigm for gas transport at the microscale.

A bioinspired pumping model for flow in a microtube with rhythmic wall contractions

Inspired by respiratory system in insects, in particular the rhythmic wall contractions found in insect's tracheal tubes, we propose a bioinspired pumping model that can work particularly well in the low Reynolds number flow regime. Incompressible, viscous flow transport in a fluid-filled axisymmetric, inelastic tube with rhythmic wall contractions is modeled using the lubrication theory. The wall contractions are prescribed via a tube profile with two indentation sites that can move with time lags with respect to each other. The analytical model is validated using the method of fundamental solutions based on the Stokeslets-meshfree computational method. The velocity field, pressure and time averaged net flow rate induced in a complete contraction cycle are calculated. 

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