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EPJE Topical Review: Lattice Boltzmann methods and active fluids

Active fluids are living matter or biologically inspired systems, consisting of self-propelled units that burn stored or ambient energy and turn it into work, eventually giving rise to systematic movement. In a new Topical Review paper published in EPJE, authors from groups in Bari (University of Bari, INFN, and the Istituto Applicazioni Calcolo, CNR) and the Center for Life Nano Science, La Sapienza, Rome describe the use of Lattice Boltzmann Methods (LBM) in the study of large scale properties of active fluids.

They review the state of the art of active fluids with particular attention to hydrodynamic continuous models, covering the thermodynamics of active fluids, in terms of liquid crystals modelling adapted to describe large-scale organization of active systems, as well as other effective phenomenological models. They discuss the implementation of LBM in solving the hydrodynamics of active matter, starting from the case of a simple fluid, for which they explicitly recover the continuous equations by means of Chapman-Enskog expansion. Going beyond this simple case, they summarize how LBM can be used to treat complex and active fluids, finally reviewing recent developments concerning some relevant topics in active matter that have been studied by means of LBM: spontaneous flow, self-propelled droplets, active emulsions, rheology, active turbulence, and active colloids.

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