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Talk Abstract
Understanding Cilia - Modelling and the Role of Singular Solutions of Stokes Flow

Nadav Liron
Technion - Israel Institute of Technology
Department of Mathematics

Cilia, tiny hairlike appendices ($^\sim$10 micrometers long and 0.3 micrometer s in diameter), beat individually and in large fields, and play an important role in feeding, reproduction, sensing, swimming and transport in many species of the animal kingdom, including humans. Because of this, a great deal of research has been put into understanding cilia at all levels - biological, chemical, and theoretical. The first theoretical breakthrough on the modeling of a single flagellum (or cilium) was made by Hancock in the mid-fifties of this century, although ciliates were discovered over 250 years ago. Hancock was the first to introduce the use of a singular solution of the Stokes equations the Stokeslet - in this context. Understanding the function of cilia via this tool will be demonstrated for feeding currents, reproduction and more.

This research was supported by the U.S.-Israel Binational Science Foundation (Grant number 97-400).

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1998-1999 Mathematics in Biology

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