Optimal locomotion of cells

Dr. Eric Lauga (University of Cambridge)

Thursday 22nd May, 2014 14:00-15:00 Maths 326


The cellular world includes a myriad of self-propelled microorganisms, including many bacteria, spermatozoa, ciliates, and plankton. In this talk, we consider the hydrodynamics of low-Reynolds number swimming relevant to this world, and focus on deriving optimal modes of locomotion. Considering the various propulsion mechanisms observed in nature (flagella vs. cilia; prokaryotes vs. eukaryotes), we mathematically and computationally derive the cell kinematics achieving propulsion, or fluid transport, with minimal energetic cost, and compare our results with biological observations.

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