Computational Mathematical Biology (Cont'd)

  • Ciliary Dynamics and the Motilities of the Single-Celled Alga Chlamydomonas

    Chlamydomonas is a tiny unicellular green alga with two hair-like flagella for propelling the cell body through its fluid environment. The flagella with both sensory and motility functions are very similar to animal cilia, which makes Chlamydomonas an outstanding model organism to study. In recent years, Chlamydomonas has been intensively used for the study of numerous fundamental biological processes in cell and molecular biology, including cilia-pathology in the human health. However the mechanism governing the bi-flagellar motilities is still poorly understood.

    We develop a new fluid-dynamical model, using modern computational approaches, that examine swimming and a variety of the bi-flagellar motilities of Chlamydomonas. This model couples the time-dependent fluid dynamics and the internal force generation mechanism by ATP-induced molecular motor proteins. We expect the numerical results will validate many important biological and biomedical experiments related to ciliary or flagellar motilities, and advance our understanding on mechanisms of the flagellar motilities of the complex biological systems.

    Swimming of Chlamydomonas (movie)

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