A new index for characterizing micro-bead motion in a flow induced by ciliary beating: Part I, experimental analysis

Abstract : Mucociliary clearance is one of the major lines of defense of the respiratory system. The mucus layer coating the pulmonary airways is moved along and out of the lung by the activity of motile cilia, thus expelling the particles trapped in it. Here we compare ex vivo measurements of a Newtonian flow induced by cilia beating (using micro-beads as tracers) and a mathematical model of this fluid flow, presented in greater detail in a second companion article. Samples of nasal epithelial cells placed in water are recorded by high-speed video-microscopy and ciliary beat pattern is inferred. Automatic tracking of micro-beads, used as markers of the flow generated by cilia motion, enables us also to assess the velocity profile as a function of the distance above the cilia. This profile is shown to be essentially parabolic. The obtained experimental data are used to feed a 2D mathematical and numerical model of the coupling between cilia, fluid, and micro-bead motion. From the model and the experimental measurements, the shear stress exerted by the cilia is deduced. Finally, this shear stress, which can easily be measured in the clinical setting, is proposed as a new index for characterizing the efficiency of ciliary beating.
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PLoS Computational Biology, Public Library of Science, 2017, 13 (7), pp.e1005605. 〈10.1371/journal.pcbi.1005605〉
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Mathieu Bottier, Sylvain Blanchon, Gabriel Pelle, Emilie Bequignon, Daniel Isabey, et al.. A new index for characterizing micro-bead motion in a flow induced by ciliary beating: Part I, experimental analysis. PLoS Computational Biology, Public Library of Science, 2017, 13 (7), pp.e1005605. 〈10.1371/journal.pcbi.1005605〉. 〈hal-01579454〉

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