MMEC Seminar: Mechanical properties of Drosophila larval chordotonal organs

Tuesday, December 03, 2019 at 4:00pm

Room 3-370

Professor Christoph Schmidt

Duke University

Mechanosensory organs detect and convert a diverse range of physical forces such as sound, vibration and stretch into neuronal signals. Mechanosensory organs typically display adaptation, operated by active, force-generating processes linked to adaptation motors. We have studied the mechanical properties of lch5 organs in Drosophila melanogaster larvae, a type of chordotonal organ. Combining mechanical micromanipulation with the help of calibrated glass needles and electrophysiological recordings from the sensory neurons, we could measure the material properties of the dominant elastic cell in the assemblies, the cap cells, and characterize neuronal response, adaptation and saturation. Cap cells display substantial pre-strain that is maintained after the de-activation of myosin motors. We found, however, that non-muscle myosin II is involved in adaptation and control of neuronal response.

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School of Engineering (SoE)

Department of Mechanical Engineering
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