Computational Fluid Dynamics of Choanoflagellate Filter-Feeding

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Choanoflagellates are unicellular aquatic organisms with a single flagellum that
drives a feeding current through a funnel-shaped collar filter on which bacteria-sized prey are caught. Using computational fluid dynamics (CFD) we model the beating flagellum and the complex filter flow of the choanoflagellate Diaphanoeca grandis. Our CFD simulations based on the current understanding of the morphology underestimate the experimentally observed clearance rate by more than an order of magnitude: The beating flagellum is simply unable to draw enough water through the fine filter. Our observations motivate us to suggest a radically different filtration mechanism that requires a flagellar vane (sheet), and addition of a wide vane in our CFD model allows us to correctly predict the observed clearance rate.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date2017
Publication statusPublished - 2017
EventComplex Motion in Fluids Summer School - Cambridge University, Cambridge, United Kingdom
Duration: 24 Sept 201730 Sept 2017


CourseComplex Motion in Fluids Summer School
LocationCambridge University
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


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