Los Angeles, CA 90095
Dolores Bozovic received her PhD in Physics in 2001, from Harvard University, on electron transport in carbon nanotubes. She then completed postdoctoral training at Rockefeller University, from 2001-2005, in a Sensory Neuroscience laboratory. From 2005 to the present, she was Assistant and then Associate Professor at the Department of Physics and Astronomy and the California NanoSystems Institute, at University of California Los Angeles. The Bozovic lab focuses on problems at the interface between physics and sensory neuroscience. In particular, we study how auditory and vestibular systems perform mechanical sensing down to the nanometer level. The main topics are: (1) nonlinear dynamics of response by individual elements - the hair cells, (2) synchronization of movement by inter-cell coupling, and (3) self-tuning in response to external stimulus. The experiments require measuring bundle motility with nanometer-level precision, in preparations that preserve the biological function of the cells. Our measurement system includes parallel-tracking ability, allowing us to explore synchronization between active motility of different hair cells. We interpret our findings in the context of nonlinear dynamics and bifurcation theory, to explain the nanoscale sensitivity displayed by the biological system.
Associated Research Items
Distribution of Frequencies of Spontaneous Oscillations in Hair Cells of the Bullfrog Sacculus
Under in vitro conditions, hair bundles of the amphibian inner ear show spontaneous oscillation. We used a high-speed camera to track these active movements, following multiple hair cells in a single ... read more.
Cellular mechanics, Nonequilibrium physics
Coupling and Elastic Loading Affect the Active Response by the Inner Ear Hair Cell Bundles
Active hair bundle motility has been proposed to underlie the amplification mechanism in the auditory endorgans of non-mammals and in the vestibular systems of all vertebrates, and to constitute a cru... read more.
Magnetic actuation of hair cells
The bullfrog sacculus contains mechanically sensitive hair cells whose stereociliary bundles oscillate spontaneously when decoupled from the overlying membrane. Steady-state offsets on the resting pos... read more.
Biological Macromolecules, Nonequilibrium physics