Flagellar energetics from high-resolution imaging of beating patterns in tethered mouse sperm

Ashwin Nandagiri, Avinash S. Gaikwad, David L. Potter, Reza Nosrati, Julio Soria, Moira K. O’bryan, Sameer Jadhav, Ranganathan Prabhakar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


We demonstrate a technique for investigating the energetics of flagella or cilia. We record the planar beating of tethered mouse sperm at high-resolution. Beating waveforms are reconstructed using Proper Orthogonal Decomposition of the centerline tangent-angle profiles. Energy conservation is employed to obtain the mechanical power exerted by the dynein motors from the observed kinematics. A large proportion of the mechanical power exerted by the dynein motors is dissipated internally by the motors themselves. There could also be significant dissipation within the passive structures of the flagellum. The total internal dissipation is considerably greater than the hydrodynamic dissipation in the aqueous medium outside. The net power input from the dynein motors in sperm from Crisp2-knockout mice is significantly smaller than in wildtype samples, indicating that ion-channel regulation by cysteine-rich secretory proteins (CRISPs) controls energy flows powering the axoneme.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere62524
Pages (from-to)40
Publication statusPublished - 30 Apr 2021

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