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

Thursday, January 28, 1999 - 2:45pm - 3:45pm
Keller 3-180
Nadav Liron (Technion-Israel Institute of Technology)
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).