Faculty Advisor

Olson, Sarah D


A study of the factors that regulate ciliary beating was conducted in an effort to better understand the dynamics of cilia and flagella. A model titled the Geometric Clutch Hypothesis (GCH) was first analyzed and then extended. The model used a constant force for the force exerted by dynein. After analyzing the original GCH, the model was then extended to incorporate the effects of a time-dependent varying dynein force as well as the effects of calcium (Ca2+). After proposing and implementing two ordinary differential equations for a varying dynein force, the results were analyzed and are presented in this report. Notable findings included simulations that produced life-like ciliary beating and simulations that were consistent with experimental data regarding the effects of Ca2+.


Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Date Accepted

April 2013


Mathematical Sciences

Project Type

Major Qualifying Project



Advisor Department

Mathematical Sciences