Assessing the Collective Dynamics of Motile Cilia in Cultures of Human Airway Cells by Multiscale DDM

Biophys J. 2017 Jul 11;113(1):109-119. doi: 10.1016/j.bpj.2017.05.028.


The technique of differential dynamic microscopy is extended here, showing that it can provide a powerful and objective method of video analysis for optical microscopy videos of in vitro samples of live human bronchial epithelial ciliated cells. These cells are multiciliated, with motile cilia that play key physiological roles. It is shown that the ciliary beat frequency can be recovered to match conventional analysis, but in a fully automated fashion. Furthermore, it is shown that the properties of spatial and temporal coherence of cilia beat can be recovered and distinguished, and that if a collective traveling wave (the metachronal wave) is present, this has a distinct signature and its wavelength and direction can be measured.

Publication types

  • Video-Audio Media

MeSH terms

  • Automation, Laboratory / methods
  • Bronchi / metabolism*
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Cilia / metabolism*
  • Epithelial Cells / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Microscopy, Video / methods*
  • Nasal Mucosa / metabolism*
  • Optical Imaging / methods