Computational Modeling of Motile Cilia-Driven Cerebrospinal Flow in the Brain Ventricles of Zebrafish Embryo
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionBioengineering. 2022, 9 . 10.3390/bioengineering9090421
Motile cilia are hair-like microscopic structures which generate directional flow to provide fluid transport in various biological processes. Ciliary beating is one of the sources of cerebrospinal flow (CSF) in brain ventricles. In this study, we investigated how the tilt angle, quantity, and phase relationship of cilia affect CSF flow patterns in the brain ventricles of zebrafish embryos. For this purpose, two-dimensional computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations are performed to determine the flow fields generated by the motile cilia. The cilia are modeled as thin membranes with prescribed motions. The cilia motions were obtained from a two-day post-fertilization zebrafish embryo previously imaged via light sheet fluorescence microscopy. We observed that the cilium angle significantly alters the generated flow velocity and mass flow rates. As the cilium angle gets closer to the wall, higher flow velocities are observed. Phase difference between two adjacent beating cilia also affects the flow field as the cilia with no phase difference produce significantly lower mass flow rates. In conclusion, our simulations revealed that the most efficient method for cilia-driven fluid transport relies on the alignment of multiple cilia beating with a phase difference, which is also observed in vivo in the developing zebrafish brain.