Biological fluid mechanics under the microscope: a tribute to John Blake




cilia, flagella, Stokes flow, slender body, stokeslet, swimming, propulsion, feeding, chaotic advection, mucus.


John Blake (1947–2016) was a leader in fluid mechanics, his two principal areas of expertise being biological fluid mechanics on microscopic scales and bubble dynamics. He produced leading research and mentored others in both Australia, his home country, and the UK, his adopted home. This article reviews John Blake’s contributions in biological fluid mechanics, as well as gives the author’s personal viewpoint as one of the many graduate students and researchers who benefitted from his supervision, guidance and inspiration. The key topics from biological mechanics discussed are: “squirmer†models of protozoa, the method of images in Stokes flow and the “blakelet†solution, discrete cilia modelling via slender body theory, physiological flows in respiration and reproduction, blinking stokeslets in microorganism feeding, human sperm motility and embryonic nodal cilia. doi:10.1017/S1446181118000020

Author Biography

David J. Smith, School of Mathematics University of Birmingham Edgbaston Birmingham B15 2TT UK

Professor of Applied Mathematics





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