Cilia driven flows: Linking microscopic properties with emergent macroscopic dynamics

Guillermina Ramirez-San Juan
Department of Biology
Brandeis University

In living organisms, arrays of thousands of micrometer-scale motile cilia must coordinate their activity over centimeters to generate flows. These cilia driven flows are patterned to execute diverse functions that range from feeding and swimming in single-cell protists to mucus clearance in humans.

In my talk I will discuss how by studying ciliated cells and tissues we can gain insight into how the emergent properties of a flow are controlled by tissue, cellular and molecular scale properties of cilia. Beyond their biological relevance, arrays of cilia provide an accessible experimental platform to explore the multi scale physics of pattern formation mediated by hydrodynamic and mechanical interactions. Furthermore describing, predicting and controlling the behavior of cilia assemblies will enable the design of synthetic active carpets to drive fluid flows with programmable and adaptive topologies.