Forces in cytoskeletal systems Public Deposited

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  • March 21, 2019
  • Asokan, Sreeja B.
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Physics and Astronomy
  • Force is fundamental to all biological systems, from the molecular level in cells to the complex organism. These forces are generated by the cytoskeleton alone or in conjunction with motor proteins, by utilizing ATP and GTP as fuels. This study investigates novel techniques to manipulate cytoskeletal systems to understand these forces, and, investigate the effect of physiologically relevant forces on these systems. Dielectrophoresis, the movement of polarizable particles in an electric field gradient was used to pattern the deposition of actin filaments, and, organize the random movement of actin filaments on myosin V motor protein to a collimated movement. Microfluidic channels were then used independent of the above to apply flow induced force and torque to actin filaments during motility. These experiments showed that forces significantly lower than motor forces can generate torques on the filaments and steer them during motility. Further, torque due to flow on actin filaments was shown to be capable of polarizing randomly aligned filaments during motility. Finally, we investigate a new approach of using rod shaped particles as microrheological probes. Viscosity of Newtonian fluids measured with nano rods were in good agreement with expected viscosity values and hence validate this approach. In complex iv solutions, the measured values deviated from expected values leading us to conclude that there is a shape and size dependant interaction between the mesh network of complex fluids and rod shaped particles. This has implications to how the cytoplasm, a complex fluid, affects cytoskeletal and organelle organization, restricts DNA mobility during gene delivery and motility of rod shaped pathogen within cells.
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  • In Copyright
  • Superfine, Richard
  • Open access

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