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Talk Abstract
A Microscale Model of Flagellar and Ciliary Motion

Robert Dillon
Department of Pure and Applied Mathematics
Washington State University


Typically, eucaryotic flagella and cilia share a common physiology. Flagella may be longer and can have a symmetric movement, whereas cilia usually beat with a temporal and spatial asymmetry. A great deal is known about the biochemistry, ultrastructure and movement of axonemes, the cytoskeletal core of eucaryotic cilia and flagella. The force generation produced by dynein-microtubule interaction results in sliding between adjacent pairs of microtubules and this in turn is translated into axonemal bending. However, the mechanisms governing the regulation of this force generation are incompletely understood. In this talk, I will describe a microscale model of ciliary motion based on the immersed boundary method. This model couples the force generation of the dynein-microtubule interaction with the elastic forces of the axoneme and the hydrodynamics of the fluid-mechanical system. I will show preliminary computer simulations and discuss future development of the model system.

Joint work with Lisa Fauci and Charlotte Omoto.

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1998-1999 Mathematics in Biology

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