We introduce a model system of stochastic entities, called rowers which include some essentials of the behavior of real cilia. We introduce and discuss the problem of symmetry breaking for these objects and its connection with the onset of macroscopic, directed flow in the fluid. We perform a mean field-like calculation showing that hydrodynamic interaction may provide for the symmetry breaking mechanism and the onset of fluid flow. Finally, we discuss the problem of the metachronal wave in a stochastic context through an analytical calculation based on a path integral representation of our model equation.

Eur. Phys. J. B

Cosentino Lagomarsino, M., Bassetti, B., & Jona, P. (2002). Rowers coupled hydrodynamically: Modeling possible mechanisms for the cooperation of cilia. Eur. Phys. J. B, 26, 81–88. doi:10.1140/epjb/e20020069