Galvanotactic behavior of Tetrahymena pyriformis under electric fields

Dal Hyung Kim, Paul Seung Soo Kim, Kyoungwoo Lee, Jinseok Kim, Min Jun Kim

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1 Citation (Scopus)


Tetrahymena pyriformis, a eukaryotic ciliate, swims toward a cathode in straight or cross-shaped microchannels under an applied electric field, a behavioral response called cathodal galvanotaxis. In straight channel experiments, a one-dimensional electric field was applied, and the galvanotactic swimming behavior of Tetrahymena pyriformis was observed and described in detail while the polarity of this field is switched. In most individual cases, the cell would immediately switch its direction toward the cathode; however, exceptional cases have been observed where cells exhibit a turning delay or do not turn after a polarity switch. In cross-channel experiments, feedback control using vision-based tracking was used to steer a cell in the microchannel intersection using a two-dimensional electric field generated by four electrodes placed at four ends of the cross channel. The motivation for this work is to study the swimming behavior of Tetrahymena pyriformis as a microrobot under the control of electric fields.

Original languageEnglish
Article number125004
JournalJournal of Micromechanics and Microengineering
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2013 Dec

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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