Andrej Vilfan

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The hair cells of the vertebrate inner ear convert mechanical stimuli to electrical signals. Two adaptation mechanisms are known to modify the ionic current flowing through the transduction channels of the hair bundles: a rapid process involves Ca(2+) ions binding to the channels; and a slower adaptation is associated with the movement of myosin motors. We(More)
We describe a theoretical and experimental analysis of the interaction between microtubules and dimeric motor proteins (kinesin, NCD), with special emphasis on the stoichiometry of the interaction, cooperative effects, and their consequences for the interpretation of biochemical and image reconstruction results. Monomeric motors can bind equivalently to(More)
We introduce a measure for energetic efficiency of biological cilia acting individually or collectively and numerically determine the optimal beating patterns according to this criterion. Maximizing the efficiency of a single cilium leads to curly, often symmetric, and somewhat counterintuitive patterns. However, when looking at a densely ciliated surface,(More)
Spontaneous otoacoustic emissions (SOAEs) are indicators of an active process in the inner ear that enhances the sensitivity and frequency selectivity of hearing. They are particularly regular and robust in certain lizards, so these animals are good model organisms for studying how SOAEs are generated. We show that the published properties of SOAEs in the(More)
We present a mechanochemical model for myosin V, a two-headed processive motor protein. We derive the properties of a dimer from those of an individual head, which we model both with a four-state cycle (detached; attached with ADP.Pi; attached with ADP; and attached without nucleotide) and alternatively with a five-state cycle (where the powerstroke is not(More)
Cystatins, a family of structurally related cysteine proteinase inhibitors, have proved to be useful model system to study amyloidogenesis. We have extended previous studies of the kinetics of amyloid-fibril formation by human stefin B (cystatin B) and some of its mutants, and proposed an improved model for the reaction. Overall, the observed kinetics(More)
Due to their small dimensions, microfluidic devices operate in the low Reynolds number regime. In this case, the hydrodynamics is governed by the viscosity rather than inertia and special elements have to be introduced into the system for mixing and pumping of fluids. Here we report on the realization of an effective pumping device that mimics a ciliated(More)
We study the influence of filament elasticity on the motion of collective molecular motors. It is found that for a backbone flexibility exceeding a characteristic value (motor stiffness divided through the mean displacement between attached motors), the ability of motors to produce force reduces as compared to rigidly coupled motors, while the maximum(More)