Publications in Scientific Journals:
J. Srajer, B. Majlis, I. Gebeshuber:
"Microfluidic simulation of a colonial diatom chain reveals oscillatory movement";
Acta Bot. Croat.,
Diatoms are single-celled organisms with rigid parts in relative motion at the micro- and nanometer length scales. Some diatom species form colonies comprising many cells. In this manuscript, the results of a two-dimensional finite element computer model are pre- sented. This model was established to discover if diatom colonies start to exhibit some kind of »pumping« behaviour when subjected to water flow. To analyze this compu- tationally, a model diatom colony with continuously repeated units of ten cells is investi- gated in a fluid dynamic simulation. In this first simple model, undisturbed fluid flow is allowed for between the single cells. The cells do not move actively, and are solely moved by the water. The initial fluid velocity is assumed between 0.01 m s-1 and 1 m s-1. A com- putational result that does not change anymore with time is called a steady state solution. Such a steady state solution is reached in all calculations performed. The steady state for a chain where initially all diatoms are spaced equally (equidistant spacing) has forces that encourage the formation of cell pairs with less distance between one another. These forces result from the flow of the surrounding fluid. The steady state for a chain with initially paired cells shows the opposite effect: the pairs tend to un-pair and head for the equidistant state again. The mutual change in forces between these two states, i.e., paired and un- paired formations, suggests that these two steady states lead into each other: The com- puter simulations suggest that a diatom colony subjected to water flow exhibits some kind of oscillatory movement. Such movement might facilitate nutrient uptake of the diatom colony.\
Created from the Publication Database of the Vienna University of Technology.