Biophysical aspects and modelling of ciliary motility

M. E.J. Holwill, G. F. Foster, T. Hamasaki, P. Satir

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


The dominance of viscous forces in the generation of propulsive thrust by cilia is emphasised. Fourier analysis indicates that ciliary bends consist of circular arcs joined by linear segments; this arc‐line shape appears to be a property associated with the molecular mechanism responsible for bending the cilium and is unchanged by variations in the external viscous loading on the organelle. The flexibility of a computer‐generated model of axonemal structure is demonstrated by the incorporation of recent data concerning the surface lattice of the microtubules. Computer simulations using the model show that predictions based on stochastic, rather than co‐ordinated, dynein arm activity provide a qualitative match to experimental observations of microtubules gliding over fields of dynein molecules.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)114-120
Number of pages7
JournalCell Motility and the Cytoskeleton
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1995


  • axonemal structure
  • cilia
  • computer modelling
  • dynein arm activity
  • hydrodynamics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Structural Biology
  • Cell Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'Biophysical aspects and modelling of ciliary motility'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this