We use a variety of techniques to visualize and simulate fluid flows at intermediate Reynolds numbers, including high-speed videography, fluorescent microscopy, µPIV, and computational modeling.
The lab has a Photron Fastcam Mini UX100 in order to capture images at frame rates between 50 and 50,000 frames per second. This allows us to resolve the detail of quick biological movements and fluid flows.
Micro Particle Image Velocimetry (µPIV)
µPIV uses the movements of fluorescent microbeads or liposomes captured by high-speed photography to reconstruct two-dimensional velocity vector fields. With a Leica fluorescence stereoscope and a high-speed camera to capture these images in the hearts of sea squirts and the flow produced by the cilia of larvae and other small, aquatic animals.
In this video, red arrows indicate the direction and magnitude of flow within a sea squirt heart between pumps.
The lab collaborates with mathematicians at Univ. of California, Merced, Univ. of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and New Mexico Tech to produce computational simulations of biological fluid flows of odor capture by crabs and pumping by valveless, tubular hearts.