Soft Condensed Matter & Physics of Living Systems Seminar
September 17, 2019 - 3:00pm to 4:00pm
EBB Krone Building
CHOA Seminar Room 1st Floor
University of Pennsylvania
Complex life larger than a humble nematode would not be possible without a circulatory system. Plants, fungi, and animals have developed vascular systems of striking complexity to solve the problem of long distance nutrient delivery, waste removal, and information exchange. These biological flow systems are frequently not static, but dynamically alter the diameters of their vessels in order to optimally achieve their intended function. The conductance of these vessels does not have to be linear, although it is frequently treated as such. Inspired by haemodynamic oscillations in the cortex, in this talk we explore how a system of laminar flow vessels can spontaneously produce and sustain dynamic local oscillations, even in the absence of time varying boundary conditions. We will show how these non-linear conducting vessels propagate pulses, how they redirect high volumes of flow to different locations of the network, and how introducing defects in the network can modify the dynamics. Last, we will discuss how we can use network topology and fluid dynamics to control flow in unexpected ways, and what this dynamic flow network behavior can tell us about living systems.