15-20 June 2014
Laurentian University / Université Laurentienne
America/Toronto timezone
Welcome to the 2014 CAP Congress! / Bienvenue au congrès de l'ACP 2014!

Active and passive properties of the microswimmer C. elegans

18 Jun 2014, 14:45
A-226 (Laurentian University / Université Laurentienne)


Laurentian University / Université Laurentienne

Sudbury, Ontario
Oral (Student, In Competition) / Orale (Étudiant(e), inscrit à la compétition) Condensed Matter and Materials Physics / Physique de la matière condensée et matériaux (DCMMP-DPMCM) (W2-4) Biophysics/Soft Condensed Matter IV: Microfluidics & Driven Motion - DCMMP-DMBP / Biophysique et matière condensée molle 4: microfluidique et mouvement mené- DPMCM-DPMnB


Ms Matilda Backholm (McMaster University)


Undulatory motion is utilized by crawlers and swimmers, such as snakes and sperm, at length scales ranging more than seven orders of magnitude. The understanding of this highly efficient form of locomotion requires an experimental characterization of the passive material properties of the crawler, as well as of its active force output on the surrounding medium. Here we present a novel experimental technique used to study the properties of the millmeter-sized worm *Caenorhabditis elegans*. By using the deflection of a force-calibrated micropipette, the viscoelastic material properties of the model organism were directly probed and characterised (Backholm, *et al.*, PNAS, 110 (2013)). The excellent force (pN) and time (ms) resolution provided by the micropipette deflection technique also enables measurements of the forces experienced by the worm as it swims through a liquid. This direct experimental characterization of *C. elegans* will provide guidance for theoretical treatments of undulatory motility in general.

Primary author

Ms Matilda Backholm (McMaster University)


Prof. Kari Dalnoki-Veress (McMaster University) Mr Rafael Schulman (McMaster University) Prof. William Ryu (University of Toronto)

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