Inertial micro-fluidics

Inertial microfluidic devices are finding an increasing variety of applications -- for sorting and segregating particles (e.g. cells). However, the design of these devices is largely unguided by theory, whether numerical simulations or quantitatively accurate reduced models. We are developing new asymptotic results, which will in the near future be used to accelerate simulations of particle interactions and trajectories in complex channel geometries, and allow predictive device design.

Collaborators: Kaitlyn Hood / MIT, Dino DiCarlo / UCLA


Myco-fluidics I: Nuclear dynamics in a filamentous fungus


The large cells of filamentous fungi can harbor many genetically different nuclei. Genetic difference develops within the fungus by mutation, parasexuality, and by genetic exchange with neighboring colonies. This internal genetic diversity is thought to contribute to the tremendous success of these organisms in a wide range of niches. Using transformed Neurospora crassa heterokarya, in which different populations of nuclei can be distinguished using nuclear labels, we are showing how complex and constant flows of genetic material through the colony enable growing fungi to keep populations of genetically-different nuclei in stable, well-mixed proportions.

Collaborators: Amy Gladfelter / UNC Chapel Hill, Louise Glass / UC Berkeley, Patrick Hickey / NIPHT Ltd.


Myco-fluidics II: Spore dispersal


Do fungi enjoy any control over the dispersal fate of their spores? The common wisdom is that mushrooms are simply machines for making as many spores as possible. We have been using experiments, theory and simulations to understand how fungal fruiting bodies are adapted to enhance spore dispersal. Our long-term goal is to understand why some species spread while others do not.

Collaborators: Emilie Dressaire / CNRS, Agnese Seminara / CNRS, Anne Pringle / U. Wisconsin-Madison