Metachronal Motion across Scales: Current Challenges and Future Directions

Margaret L. Byron, David W. Murphy, Kakani Katija, Alexander P. Hoover, Joost Daniels, Kuvvat Garayev, Daisuke Takagi, Eva Kanso, Bradford J. Gemmell, Melissa Ruszczyk, Arvind Santhanakrishnan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Metachronal motion is used across a wide range of organisms for a diverse set of functions. However, despite its ubiquity, analysis of this behavior has been difficult to generalize across systems. Here we provide an overview of known commonalities and differences between systems that use metachrony to generate fluid flow. We also discuss strategies for standardizing terminology and defining future investigative directions that are analogous to other established subfields of biomechanics. Finally, we outline key challenges that are common to many metachronal systems, opportunities that have arisen due to the advent of new technology (both experimental and computational), and next steps for community development and collaboration across the nascent network of metachronal researchers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1674-1688
Number of pages15
JournalIntegrative and comparative biology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 1 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Plant Science


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