Spirochetes and spermatozoa: Fluid dynamic models of microorganism<br/><br/>motility

Tuesday, June 27, 2006 - 3:30pm - 4:30pm
Lind 409
Lisa Fauci (Tulane University)
The observed swimming behavior of a motile microorganism is the result
of a complex interplay between mechanisms of internal force generation,
the passive elastic properties of its structure, and a surrounding
viscous fluid. In this talk, we will focus on two very different types
of microorganisms: the spirochetes, which are a type of bacteria
characterized by an efficient mode of motility that allows them to
screw through viscous fluids and mucosal surfaces, and spermatozoa,
that undulate as a result of the action of thousands of molecular
motors positioned along the flagellum. We will present mathematical
and computational models that couple the internal force generating
mechanisms of these microorganisms with external fluid mechanics. We
will describe our methodology, which includes both the method of
regularized Stokeslets and the immersed boundary method. We will
discuss recent successes as well as challenges associated with these
MSC Code: