Event type: Seminar
(University of Pennsylvania)
Fluid mechanics of the respiratory system and active coating materialsShow/Hide Abstract
Our airways are continuously exposed to potentially harmful particles like dust and viruses. The first line of defence against these pathogens is a network of millions of cilia, whip-like organelles that pump flows by beating over a thousand times per minute. In this talk, I will first discuss the connection between local ciliary architecture and the topology of the flows they generate. We image the mouse airway from the sub-cellular (nm) to the organ scales (mm), characterising quantitatively its ciliary arrangement and the resulting flows. Interestingly, we find that disorder in the ciliary alignment can actually be beneficial for this pathogen clearance . Second, I would also like to discuss how systems can be driven out of equilibrium by such active carpets. Combining techniques from statistical and fluid mechanics, I will demonstrate how we can derive the diffusivity of particles near an active carpet, and how we can generalise Fick’s laws to describe their non-equilibrium transport . These results may be used for designing self-cleaning materials, much like our airways.  Ramirez San-Juan, Mathijssen et al., “Multi-scale spatial heterogeneity enhances particle clearance in airway ciliary arrays”, Nature Physics 16, 958–964 (2020)  Guzman-Lastra, Löwen & Mathijssen, “Active carpets drive non-equilibrium diffusion and enhanced molecular fluxes”, in press, Nature Communications (2021) Note: We also have an informal discussion session after the seminar. Please stay in the Zoom seminar room to chat together with Professor Arnold Mathijssen!
Jan 26, 2021 Online Seminar
(University of Maryland Baltimore County)
Stochastic Modeling of Reaction-Diffusion Processes in BiologyShow/Hide Abstract
Inherent fluctuations may play an important role in biochemical and biophysical systems when the system involves some species with low copy numbers. This talk will present the recent work on the stochastic modeling of reaction-diffusion processes in glucose metabolism. The first part of the talk introduces a compartment-based model for a simple glycolytic pathway using a continuous-time Markov jump process, which describes system features at different scales of interest. Then, we will see how the multiscale approximate method reduces the model complexity. We will briefly discuss how the compartment size in the spatial domain can affect the spatial patterns of the system. In the second part of the talk, I will show another example for glucose metabolism where we see different-sized enzyme complexes. We hypothesized that the size of multienzyme complexes is related to their functional roles. We will see two models: one using a system of differential equations and the other using the Langevin dynamics.
Feb 2, 2021 Online Seminar
(University of Wisconsin Milwaukee)
Automated Feature Extraction from Large Cardiac Electrophysiological Data SetsShow/Hide Abstract
A multi-electrode array-based application for the long-term recording of action potentials from electrogenic cells makes possible exciting cardiac electrophysiology studies in health and disease. With hundreds of simultaneous electrode recordings being acquired over a period of days, the main challenge becomes achieving reliable signal identification and quantification. We set out to develop an algorithm capable of automatically extracting regions of high-quality action potentials from terabyte size experimental results and to map the trains of action potentials into a low-dimensional feature space for analysis. Our automatic segmentation algorithm finds regions of acceptable action potentials in large data sets of electrophysiological readings. We use spectral methods and support vector machines to classify our readings and to extract relevant features. We show that action potentials from the same cell site can be recorded over days without detrimental effects to the cell membrane. The variability between measurements 24 h apart is comparable to the natural variability of the features at a single time point. Our work contributes towards a non-invasive approach for cardiomyocyte functional maturation, as well as developmental, pathological, and pharmacological studies. This is joint work with Viviana Zlochiver, Stacie Kroboth (Advocate Aurora Research Institute), and John Jurkiewicz (graduate student at UWM).
Feb 9, 2021 Online Seminar
(Florida State University)
Mechanisms Underlying Spatiotemporal Patterning in Microbial CollectivesShow/Hide Abstract
We describe a spatial Moran model that captures mechanical interactions and directional growth in spatially extended populations. The model is analytically tractable and completely solvable under a mean-field approximation and can elucidate the mechanisms that drive the formation of population-level patterns. As an example, we model a population of E. coli growing in a rectangular microfluidic trap. We show that spatial patterns can arise because of a tug-of-war between boundary effects and growth rate modulations due to cell-cell interactions: Cells align parallel to the long side of the trap when boundary effects dominate. However, when cell-cell interactions exceed a critical value, cells align orthogonally to the trap’s long side. This modeling approach and analysis can be extended to directionally growing cells in a variety of domains to provide insight into how local and global interactions shape collective behavior. As an example, we discuss how our model reveals how changes to a cell-shape describing parameter may manifest at the population level of the microbial collective. Specifically, we discuss mechanisms revealed by our model on how we may be able to control spatiotemporal patterning by modifying cell shape of a given strain in a multi-strain microbial consortium.
Feb 16, 2021 Online Seminar