Trust your gut: the physics and mathematics behind maintenance of the gastric pH gradient.

Start: 10/11/2017 - 4:15pm
End  : 10/11/2017 - 5:15pm


Owen Lewis (U of Utah )


The gastric mucus layer is widely recognized to serve a protective function, shielding your stomach wall from the extremely low pH and digestive enzymes present in the stomach lumen. Often described as a "diffusion barrier," the mucus is believed to hinder the transport of small diffusive species from the stomach interior (lumen), to the wall (mucosa). However, there is no consensus on the mechanism by which the mucus layer hinders lumen-to-wall transport while allowing acid and enzymes secreted from the mucosa unimpeded transport to the lumen. Using simple physical principles, we develop a mathematical description of electro-diffusion within the stomach, and use it to test physiological hypotheses that are beyond current experimental techniques. Furthermore, we explore what regulatory mechanisms are necessary to segregate an acidic stomach interior from a neutral stomach wall. 

Argue Auditorium, Millikan, Pomona College