Virtual Lung Project

The flow of liquid on mucosal surfaces is ubiquitous in human physiology. The failure of cilia and airflow-induced liquid flow in the lungs (mucus clearance), as in Cystic Fibrosis, primary cilia dyskinesis, and environ-mentally damaged lungs, leads to severe health problems as the lung tissue will be destroyed by infections that cannot be cleared. By combining a team of researchers from Applied Mathematics, Chemistry, Physics and Astronomy, Biochemistry and Biophysics, and the UNC Cystic Fibrosis Center, the Virtual Lung Project has the long term goal of developing an integrated computational model that will predict and evaluate truly effective therapeutic strategies. CISMM coordinates the activities of the co-PI’s in the development of an inte-grated computational model, as well as the specific role of biophysics experiments in mucus rheology and par-ticle transport (described within the next section on the Mucociliary Clearance Consortium), epithelial cell membrane mechanosensing, cilia force measurements and cilia-induced flow. CISMM also provides support for the visualization of confocal microscope datasets of mucus clearance and the use of control and analysis software used in our magnetics experiments.

Cilia Dynamics and Forces
The Virtual Lung Project Website