Theory of the locomotion of nematodes: Dynamics of undulatory progression on a surface

Ernst Niebur, Paul Erdös

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

We develop a model of the undulatory locomotion of nematodes, in particular that of Caenorhabditis elegans, based on mechanics. The model takes into account the most important forces acting on a moving worm and allows the computer simulation of a creeping nematode. These forces are produced by the interior pressure in the liquid-filled body cavity, the elasticity of the cuticle, the excitation of certain sets of muscles and the friction between the body and its support. We propose that muscle excitation patterns can be generated by stretch receptor control. By solving numerically the equations of motion of the model of the nematode, we demonstrate that these muscle excitation patterns are suitable for the propulsion of the animal.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1132-1146
Number of pages15
JournalBiophysical journal
Volume60
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - 1991

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics

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