Mechanical filtering by the boundary layer and fluid-structure interaction in the superficial neuromast of the fish lateral line system

Matthew J. McHenry*, James A. Strother, Sietse M. van Netten

*Bijbehorende auteur voor dit werk

OnderzoeksoutputAcademicpeer review

83 Citaten (Scopus)


A great diversity of aquatic animals detects water flow with ciliated mechanoreceptors on the body's surface. In order to understand how these receptors mechanically filter signals, we developed a theoretical model of the superficial neuromast in the fish lateral line system. The cupula of the neuromast was modeled as a cylindrical beam that deflects in response to an oscillating flow field. Its accuracy was verified by comparison with prior measurements of cupular deflection in larval zebrafish (Danio rerio). The model predicts that the boundary layer of flow over the body attenuates low-frequency stimuli. The fluid-structure interaction between this flow and the cupula attenuates high-frequency stimuli. The number and height of hair cell kinocilia and the dimensions of the cupular matrix determine the range of intermediate frequencies to which a neuromast is sensitive. By articulating the individual mechanical contributions of the boundary layer and the components of cupular morphology, this model provides the theoretical framework for understanding how a hydrodynamic receptor filters flow signals.

Originele taal-2English
Pagina's (van-tot)795-810
Aantal pagina's16
TijdschriftJournal of comparative physiology a-Neuroethology sensory neural and behavioral physiology
Nummer van het tijdschrift9
StatusPublished - sep.-2008

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