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Flagellar Analysis of Microswimmers

Student-Run Research Seminar

Speaker: Kelli Loritsch, UC Davis
Location: 3106 MSB
Start time: Wed, May 15 2024, 12:10PM

Microswimmers, such as sperm, Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, and types of bacteria, propel themselves using coordinated flagella that beat periodically. The shape of the flagellar beat has been observed to change with rheology but the mechanism for this change is unknown. This waveform emerges from interaction with external forces from the fluid and from internal flagellar forces, including passive mechanical properties like extensional and bending forces, and active motor forces. We will quantify changes in flagellar waveform from fluid rheology using shape mode analysis and then explore mechanisms behind motor coordination. It is thought that the mechanochemical feedback on molecular motor activity is responsible for establishing spatiotemporal coordination among motors to drive the flagellar beat. However, the physical means of mechanochemical feedback are not well understood. In this proposal, we plan to develop a full swimmer simulation using experimental flagellar data in different types of fluids to study how flagellar waveforms change with rheology. We then will investigate how motor coordination is related to change in flagellar shape and motion, as well as how motor activity changes with the rheology of the fluid.

Might be no pizzas, but there will be a lot of refreshments from Trader Joe!:)