Wed, 17/05/2017 - 14:00
,
Campus Saarbrücken, Geb. E2 6, E04

Dr. Karen Alim
(
Host: Prof. Dr. Ludger Santen
)
Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization, Göttingen

Physical forces shaping morphology

Forces arising due to mechanics and fluid flows can induce long-ranged interactions and thus propagate information on large scales. Especially during the development of an organism, coordination on large scales in short time is essential. My aim is to discover the principal mechanisms of how these physical forces induce, transmit and respond to biological signals and thus orchestrate patterning and morphing of an organism.

The role of fluid flows in patterning and morphing is particularly prominent during the growth and adaptation of transport networks like vascular networks. Here, the network-forming slime mold Physarum polycephalum emerged as a new model to study the complex dynamics of transport networks. Investigating the pivotal role of fluid flows in this live transport network I find that flows are patterned in a peristaltic wave across the network thereby optimizing transport. In fact, flows are hijacked by signals to propagate throughout the network promoting their own transport by invoking a propagating front of increased flow. These simple non-linear dynamics are sufficient to explain surprisingly complex dynamics of the organism like finding the shortest path through a maze.

Turning to vascular networks of plants and animals I investigate the requirements on the network to provide uniform supply of metabolites to surrounding tissues. Solving for metabolite absorption dynamics I identify the fluid inflow rate as the most important factor. Theoretically uncovered rescue responses to counteract sub-optimal inflow match observations of network adaptation in plant and animal vasculature.

Fluid flows through tubular networks or porous media are at the heart of many technological applications in medicine but also chemical and energy industry giving my theoretical findings inspired by nature widespread implications.

Upcoming Events

  • IRTG Intro Lecture

    Tue, 27/07/2021 - 14:15
    ,
    Online lecture via MS Teams

    Dr. Yvonne Schwarz

    Knowing when to talk or stay silent - how do secretory cells communicate with each other?”

    Investigating the molecular mechanisms of exocytosis using state-of-the-art microscopy, biochemistry, mouse genetics and electrophysiology

  • IRTG Intro Lecture

    Tue, 19/10/2021 - 14:15
    ,
    Online lecture via MS Teams

    Jun.-Prof. Laura Aradilla-Zapata

    t.b.a.

  • IRTG workshop

    Tue, 09/11/2021 - 09:00 to Wed, 10/11/2021 - 12:00
    ,
    t.b.a.

    Dr. Christiane Kasack

    Making it happen: Time and self management for your PhD

  • IRTG Intro Lecture

    Tue, 07/12/2021 - 14:15
    ,
    t.b.a.

    Prof. Dr. Sandra Iden

    t.b.a.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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