MS01 - OTHE-2
Interfaith Prayer and Reflection Room (#3020C) in The Ohio Union

Recent Studies on the Biomechanics and Fluid Dynamics of Living Systems: Locomotion and Fluid Transport

Monday, July 17 at 10:30am

SMB2023 SMB2023 Follow Monday during the "MS01" time block.
Room assignment: Interfaith Prayer and Reflection Room (#3020C) in The Ohio Union.
Note: this minisymposia has multiple sessions. The other session is MS02-OTHE-2 (click here).

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Alexander Hoover, Matea Santiago


From the blebbing of cells to the undulations of fish, biomechanical and biofluidic systems are ubiquitous in nature. Many of these systems involve interplay of multiple physics, such as the structures’ elasticity, the fluid dynamics of differing length scales, and neural activity. Other times, these processes can include chemical signaling, rheological properties of biomaterials, as well as osmotic and the biochemical processes that drive their motion. In this mini-symposium, we focus on modeling the biological processes that undergird these biofluidic and biomechanical systems, with methods that range from computational simulation to asymptotic analysis. This mini-symposium aims to bring together these communities to discuss recent advances in modeling, analysis, and computational simulation for investigating the interplay of biological processes, with a focus on locomotion and fluid transport. This is the companion mini-symposium of Recent Studies on the Biomechanics and Fluid Dynamics of Living Systems: Cellular Biomechanics and Microfluidics.

Alexander P. Hoover

Cleveland State University (Mathematics)
"Interfacing in-Situ and in-Silico Experiments in Organismal Fluid Pumping"
Far from the surface, the ocean's midwater present a rich frontier of biodiversity that is not well understood. Part of this gap in our knowledge is the great expense involved in collecting data with remotely operated vehicles. In this presentation, we will discuss the pipeline of developing in-silico computational experiments in concert with in-situ experimental data. Using a combination of particle image velocimetry data, optical scans, and confocal microscopy, we will discuss the creation of fluid-structure interaction models for organismal pumping and fluid transport, with the goal of developing an intuition on the physical mechanisms that drive their success. Using a combination of simplified geometries and scanned body meshes, we will employ the immersed boundary/finite element (IB/FE) method to simulate chambered, valveless pumping mechanism generated by the pelagic tunicate known as a larvacean. Additionally, we will use the same modeling methodology to explore the metachronal motion and fluid transport of the parapodial paddles of the pelagic, midwater polychaete known as tomopterids. All motion described in these systems will not be prescribed and will emerge from the interaction of active muscular tension, passive elastic recoil, and the local fluid environment.
Additional authors: Kakani Katija, MBARI Joost Daniels, MBARI Janna Nawroth, Helmholtz Pioneer Campus

Silas Alben

University of Michigan (Mathematics Department)
"Efficient bending and lifting patterns in snake locomotion"
We optimize three-dimensional snake kinematics for locomotor efficiency. We assume a general space-curve representation of the snake backbone with small-to-moderate lifting off the ground and negligible body inertia. The cost of locomotion includes work against friction and internal viscous dissipation. When restricted to planar kinematics, our population-based optimization method finds the same types of optima as a previous Newton-based method. With lifting, a few types of optimal motions prevail. We have an s-shaped body with alternating lifting of the middle and ends at small-to-moderate transverse friction. With large transverse friction, curling and sliding motions are typical at small viscous dissipation, replaced by large-amplitude bending at large viscous dissipation. With small viscous dissipation we find local optima that resemble sidewinding motions across friction coefficient space. They are always suboptimal to alternating lifting motions, with average input power 10-100% higher.

Matea Santiago

University of Arizona (Mathematics)
"The role of elasticity and tension in soft coral pulsing"
The pulsing behavior of Xeniid soft corals is characterized by active muscle contraction and passive expansion, similar to many other swimming marine invertebrates. However, soft corals are sessile animals and do not locomote. Previous experimental and computational studies have indicated that the pulsing behavior mixes the surrounding fluid and enhances the photosynthesis of their zooxanthellae. Symbiotic photosynthesis is hypothesized to be the coral’s main energy source. Past computational work directly prescribed motion to the coral tentacles. This work instead drives motion by modeling the muscle contraction as applied active tension and expansion through the passive elasticity of the coral body. The role of elasticity and muscle tension is explored in the coral’s kinematics and the resulting fluid flow using the immersed finite element-finite difference (IFED) method implementation in the software library IBAMR to simulate the elastic-structure fluid interaction of the tentacles and surrounding fluid. These results will provide insight into the underlying biomechanics of the pulsing behavior by observing the emergent behavior of the system. The results of this study contribute to cnidarian biomechanics knowledge and have implications in soft robotics design.
Additional authors: Alexander Hoover, Cleveland State University ; Laura Miller, University of Arizona

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Annual Meeting for the Society for Mathematical Biology, 2023.