Collective dynamics in motile cilia: waves in the airways

Event Details
  • Date/Time:
    • Friday March 10, 2017
      1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
  • Location: Howey N110
  • Phone: 404-894-8886
  • URL:
  • Email:
  • Fee(s):
  • Extras:


Summary Sentence: Collective dynamics in motile cilia: waves in the airways

Full Summary: No summary paragraph submitted.

School of Physics Nonlinear Science, Soft Condensed Matter & Physics of Living Systems Seminar: Prof. Pietro Cicuta, University of Cambridge

Motile cilia are cell organelles able to exert a net force onto a liquid; they are highly conserved across eukaryotes, and enable a variety of functions from the motility of single cell organisms to flow that carries nutrients to our brains.  A fascinating process takes place in mammalian airways: a carpet of motile cilia maintains the cell surface free of pathogens and particles by continuously refreshing and clearing a barrier of mucus. In order for this `muco-ciliary clearance' to be effective, cilia motion needs to be phase-locked across significant distances, in the form of a travelling wave, and it is not known how this is achieved. 

Our lab is currently approaching this question from two directions:  recently we have begun imaging ciliated cell carpets, quantifying the spatial and temporal coherence in the dynamics, and perturbing the system; we aim to match the understanding gained at that level with our previous work on model systems, which informed us of the importance of hydrodynamic coupling between driven oscillators, as a mechanism sufficient to establish collective large-scale dynamical patterns. 

Additional Information

In Campus Calendar

School of Physics, College of Sciences

Invited Audience
Faculty/Staff, Undergraduate students, Graduate students
  • Created By: Alison Morain
  • Workflow Status: Published
  • Created On: Feb 24, 2017 - 2:30pm
  • Last Updated: Apr 13, 2017 - 5:12pm