Journal Article

Peristaltic transport and mixing of cytosol through the whole body of <i>Physarum</i> plasmodium

Makoto Iima and Toshiyuki Nakagaki

in Mathematical Medicine and Biology: A Journal of the IMA

Published on behalf of Institute of Mathematics and its Applications

Volume 29, issue 3, pages 263-281
Published in print September 2012 | ISSN: 1477-8599
Published online July 2011 | e-ISSN: 1477-8602 | DOI:
Peristaltic transport and mixing of cytosol through the whole body of Physarum plasmodium

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  • Applied Mathematics
  • Biomathematics and Statistics


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We study how the net transport and mixing of chemicals occur in a relatively large amoeba, the true slime mold Physarum polycephalum. The shuttle streaming of the amoeba is characterized by a rhythmic flow of the order of 1 μm/s in which the protoplasm streams back and forth. To explain the experimentally observed transport of chemicals, we formulate a simplified model to consider the mechanism by which net transport can be induced by shuttle (or periodic) motion inside the amoeba. This model is independent from the details of fluid property as it is based on the mass conservation law only. Even in such a simplified model, we demonstrate that sectional oscillations play an important role in net transport and discuss the effects of the sectional boundary motion on net transport in the microorganism.

Keywords: slime mold; transport in viscoelastic flow; shuttle streaming

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Applied Mathematics ; Biomathematics and Statistics

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