Kirsty Wan

University of Exeter

Multiscale coordination of cilia and flagella

Fluids and Materials Seminar

14th November 2019, 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Fry Building, LG.22

Cilia and flagella are ubiquitous appendages that occur in many different organisms. These highly-conserved organelles represent an important innovation at the origin of eukaryogenesis. Cilia-mediated flows are important for microscale transport and propulsion, and have also been implicated in developmental patterning in early mammalian embryos. The question of how ciliary coordination arises has fascinated and confounded researchers for decades – its mechanistic specificity and physical origins are only becoming clear in recent years. In this talk I will use a range of biological systems and organisms to reveal how ciliary beating is coordinated across multiple scales. We show that while hydrodynamic interactions dictate the large-scale activity of ciliary carpets, it is rather biomechanical and intracellular coupling that determines the synchronous gaits of microswimmers. We will focus in particular on the steady-state and transient swimming gaits of single-celled species to explore how active locomotor patterning is achieved in interacting biological networks.

Organiser: Rachel Bennett

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