NJIT Applied Mathematics Colloquium

Friday, September 30, 2011, 11:30am

Cullimore Lecture Hall II
New Jersey Institute of Technology

Waving rings and swimming in circles: some lessons learned through biofluiddynamics

Lisa Fauci

Tulane University

Dinoflagellates swim due to the action of two flagella - a trailing, longitundinal flagellum that propagates planar waves, and a transverse flagellum that propagates helical waves.  Motivated by the intriguing function of the transverse flagellum, we study the fundamental fluid dynamics of a helically-undulating ring in a viscous fluid.  We contrast this biofluiddynamic study, where the kinematics of the waveform are taken as given, with a model of mammalian sperm hyperactivated motility.  Here, our goal is to examine how the complex interplay of fluid dynamics, biochemistry, and elastic properties of the flagellum give rise to the swimming patterns observed.  We will discuss the method of regularized Stokeslets, which is an easily-implemented and versatile computational method for examining fluid-structure interactions in very viscous flows.