How cilia move in unison to pump fluid

Countless tiny hairs (cilia) are found on the outer wall of some cells, for example in our lungs or in our brain. When these micrometer-sized hairs coordinate their movement and produce wave-like movements together, they can cause currents on a microscale and thus pump fluid from one place to another. Until now, this could only be studied in large computer simulations. However, more than a few thousand hairs cannot be simulated in this way. Now a continuum theory of micro-hairs has been developed — a powerful and completely new approach.

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