By Karthika Swamy Cohen
“Is the pulsating motion really
adding anything to the flow dynamics that's already exists and really
benefiting the animals?"
That’s the question Shilpa Khatri
(University of California, Merced) asked during her talk, “Modeling of Pulsating
Soft Corals” at the minisymposium celebrating Charles S. Peskin's 70th
Birthday, “Mathematical Modeling in Biological Fluid Dynamics and Systems
Khatri proceeded to answer the question
by describing a combination of mathematical models and experiments.
Her group is also studying the pulsing dynamics’ effect on
particle capture, nutrient exchange, and waste removal. Khatri presented direct numerical simulations of the coral pulsations, and
the consequent fluid flow by solving the Navier-Stokes equations coupled with
the immersed boundary method.
She described kinematics methods
used by her group to simulate the movement, six points along a tentacle are
tracked using image processing and tracking methods.