The dinoflagellate Pyrocystis lunula emits light in response to water motion. We developed a new imaging technique for measuring pressure using plankton that emits light in response to mechanical stimulation. The bioluminescence emitted by P. lunula was used to measure impact water pressure produced using weight-drop tests. The maximum mean luminescence intensity correlated with the maximum impact pressure that the cells receive when the circadian and diurnal biological rhythms are appropriately controlled. Thus, with appropriate calibration of experimentally determined parameters, the dynamic impact pressure can be estimated by measuring the cell-flash distribution. Statistical features of the evolution of flash intensity and the probability distribution during the impacting event, which are described by both biological and mechanical response parameters, are also discussed in this paper. The practical applicability of this bioluminescence imaging technique is examined through a water drop test. The maximum dynamic pressure, occurring at the impact of a water jet against a wall, was estimated from the flash intensity of the dinoflagellate.
Experiments in Fluids – Springer Journals
Published: Feb 5, 2011
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