The known is finite, the unknown infinite; intellectually we stand on an islet in the midst of an illimitable ocean of inexplicability. Our business in every generation is to reclaim a little more land, to add something to the extent and the solidity of our possessions.
— Thomas Henry Huxley

The Applied Fluid Mechanics Lab specializes in interdisciplinary studies of fluid flows in the areas of biomechanics, cardiovascular physiology, medical devices and wind energy.  Of particular interest are studies of locomotion, pumping and feeding functions in biological systems interacting with low-speed, unsteady fluid flows.

The objectives of our research are to:

  • Identify unifying mechanical design principles in biological systems interacting with low-speed unsteady flows for locomotion, pumping, and feeding functions, through characterizing structure-function relationships.
  • Use these physical principles to develop diagnostic measures, bio-inspired flow control methods and biomimetic devices for biomedical, environmental and wind energy applications.

Our approach includes experiments using physical models and computational fluid dynamics simulations.  Experiments are carried out in live organisms where possible and used to guide the design of the physical and computational models. Short descriptions of ongoing research projects are provided below. Please check out our research videos. Contact Dr. Santhanakrishnan if you are curious to learn more!