Digital frukost: Engineering aspects of mucus and the effects of bacteria

Mucus is a viscoelastic material which protects epithelial surfaces from the external environment.  The functions of mucus are usually described as protection, lubrication, and transport , and in all these cases the physico-mechanical properties of the mucus are vital for function. But how does the presence of bacteria affect the function of the mucus?

Bacteria

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Deadline for registration: 28 January 2021

Salmon fry eye
Salmon fry eye. Photo: Alexander W. Fiedler

Mucus is a viscoelastic material secreted by most metazoans to protect epithelial surfaces from the external environment.  The functions of mucus are usually described as protection (as a physical barrier), lubrication, and transport (as part of the mucocilliary transport systems or as trails for gastropods), and in all these cases the physico-mechanical properties of the mucus are vital for function.  Given the omnipresence of bacteria in the environment, both externally and for example within the gut, and our growing understanding of the importance of commensal bacteria in physiological function, it is not surprising that mucus – bacteria effects are gaining significant interest.  This interest has primarily focused on the digestive tract where the symbiotic role of bacteria is clear, but what about other mucosal surfaces?  The speaker, Catherine Taylor Nordgård, NTNU, is part of the Micromucus project, in which they have been investigating the effect of bacteria on the skin mucosa of yolk sac salmon fry, including the physico-mechanical properties of the skin mucus, and they have been testing out just how important bacteria may be for the function of the mucus.  

About the seminar series

"Digital Frukost" is an open breakfast seminar series focusing on research activities at the interface between the biological sciences and that of mathematics, computer science, physics, engineering or social sciences. Examples of such research activities could be mathematical or computational modeling of biological systems, application of engineering/control systems theory on biological systems or inspired by biological systems, application of mathematics/statistics/machine learning to analyze big data in health or marine sector; from sensor systems, imaging, omics technologies, policy making based on scientific models etc.

We look forward to your participation!

Contact

Ragnhild Inderberg Vestrum
ragnhild.i.vestrum@ntnu.no 
+4792250876

Kari M. Ersland
Kari.Ersland@uib.no
+4740879025

Published Dec. 11, 2020 10:39 AM - Last modified Jan. 5, 2021 11:16 AM