Motile cilia are hair-like protrusions from epithelial cells that beat collectively to transport fluid. On the tissue level, cilia serve diverse biological functions, such as mucociliary clearance in the airways and cerebrospinal fluid transport in the brain ventricles. Yet, the relationship between the structure and organization of ciliated tissues and their biological function remains elusive.
Here, I will present a series of models that examine the role of cilia-driven flows in particle transport, mixing, capture and filtering. I will conclude by commenting on the implications of these models to understanding the biophysical mechanisms underlying the interaction of ciliated tissues with microbial partners.