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How do tubular hearts pump blood?

Mathematical Biology

Speaker: Laura Miller, University of North Carolina
Location: 2112 MSB
Start time: Mon, Jan 7 2013, 3:10PM

Recent advancements in computational fluid dynamics have enabled researchers to efficiently explore problems that involve moving elastic boundaries immersed in fluids for problems such as cardiac fluid dynamics, fish swimming, and the movement of bacteria. These advances have also made modeling the interaction between a fluid and an electromechanical model of an elastic organ feasible. The tubular hearts of some ascidians and vertebrate embryos offers a relatively simple model organ for such a study. Blood is driven through the heart by either peristaltic contractions or valveless suction pumping through localized periodic contractions. Models considering only the fluid-structure interaction aspects of these hearts are insufficient to resolve the actual pumping mechanism. The electromechanical model presented here will integrate feedback between the conduction of action potentials, the contraction of muscles, the movement of tissues, and the resulting fluid motion.