A finite volume algorithm for simulating the three-dimensional dynamics of elastic filaments
Elastic filaments are ubiquitous in Nature. Biology presents a plethora of examples, from DNA to plant tendrils, the bacterial flagellum to the hair on your head. Mankind, too, uses filamentary objects in engineering and technology, such as the deep sea cables that transport electronic data or the beams that support buildings. While in many of these examples the structures are relatively static, Cell biology often employs dynamic filaments for motion. We have found that when simulating the motion of filaments at low Reynolds number in the context of cell motility, standard numerical techniques fail due either to stability issues or because numerical artefacts produce non-physical forces and torques. Here I describe a new algorithm that we developed that prevents non-physical forces and torques while also providing a stable numerical scheme. I will then present the results from a number of biologically-motivated representative model problems that highlight the effectiveness of this algorithm.
Password: “arizona” (all lower case)