Neuromechanical Resonance and Organismal Fluid Pumping


Many biomechanical systems are activated by a nervous system that initiates and coordinates muscular contraction. In these systems, there are a number of intrinsic time scales, such as the speed and firing frequency of an action potential or the natural vibrational frequency of an elastic appendage or body, that influence the performance of these systems. In this talk, we explore the dynamics that neuromuscular activation has in fluid pumping systems and use high-fidelity, 3D numerical simulations to describe the interplay between active muscle contraction, passive body elasticity, and fluid forces. Our focus on two model systems, the swimming and maneuvering of moon jellyfish and the valveless pumping of giant larvaceans. This model will be used to explore the interplay between the speed of neuromechanical activation, fluid dynamics, and the material properties of systems. The investigation of the interplay of these timescales has led to the discovery of a phenomenon known as neuromechanical wave resonance in jellyfish turning, and similarly emergent mechanical constraints are discovered for giant larvaceabs.  The phenomena discussed are important for developing design principles for the actuation of tissue-engineered pumps and soft-bodied robotics.



Math Bio Seminar
Friday, October 20, 2023
12:00 pm
WXLR A108 and virtual via Zoom

For those joining remotely, email Eleni Panagiotou for the Zoom link.


Alex Hoover
Assistant Professor
Cleveland State University