Long-range collective dynamics of cilia, mucus transport and tissue polarity in bronchial epithelium

Host laboratory and collaborators

Annie Viallat / CINaM / annie.viallat@univ-amu.fr


Airway epithelium is protected by the active transport at its surface of a layer of a complex fluid, the mucus. It is powered by the coordinated beats characterized by a strong long-range orientational order of billions of microscopic cilia carried by epithelial cells. Recently, we experimentally showed that, during ciliogenesis, large milling patterns of ciliary beats leading to mucus vortex flows spontaneously emerged on reconstituted epitheliums and that the removal of mucus and further addition of model fluids could destroy and reconstitute this order, respectively. Our objectives are to understand the emergence and the maintain of the collective dynamic order of ciliary beats, which involve the mechanical cilia-mucus coupling mediated by long-range hydrodynamic interactions, and the active mechanotransductive response of ciliary beats. We propose to combine an in-vitro experimental approach on cultures at Air Liquid Interface and an in-silico approach based on Lattice Boltzmann simulations to build a reliable numerical model of mucus transport.


Mucociliary transport – severe asthma – collective motion - active matter – metachronal waves - ALI cultures – Lattice Boltzmann simulations - airways