Airway epithelium is protected by the active transport at its surface of a layer of a complex fluid, the mucus. It is powered by the coordinated beats of billions of microscopic cilia carried by epithelial cells. Recently, we experimentally showed that, during ciliogenesis, large milling patterns of ciliary beats leading to mucus vortex flows spontaneously emerged on reconstituted epitheliums and that removal of mucus and further addition of model fluids could destroy and reconstitute this order.

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