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Confined networks of stiff filaments

Confined networks of stiff filaments

Datum: 8. November 2016 13:15

Ort: NWZ II, Raum 4.331, Pfaffenwaldring 57, Stuttgart-Vaihingen

Confined networks of stiff filaments
Kristian Müller-Nedebock, Stellenbosch University, Department of Physics

The mechanical properties of a cell certainly depend on the precise nature of networks which make up the cytoskeleton. There are different types of filaments, and several ways in which these can be assembled into networks. For a cell it matters not only how these filaments are linked, but also there are also the constraints due to the confinement imposed by the cell membrane or cell wall. In this presentation we address these aspects in simple models for the elastic and geometrical properties of the cytoskeleton. The distribution and orientation of filaments within the confining region also vary with position within the cell – for example, recent molecular dynamics simulations show that confinement affects the orientation and distribution of filaments within the cell [Azari, A. & Müller-Nedebock, K. K. EPL 110, 68004 (2015)]. We introduce a monomer ensemble technique [Pasquali, S. & Percus, J. K. Molecular Physics 107, 1303 (2009)], and discuss the role of membranes or cell walls on the elastic properties of networks. This enables us to contrast the behaviours of branching and crosslinking finite networks consisting of stiff filaments. Finally, we throw some light on how these ideas might be relevant when the cross-linkers are active, i.e. include molecular motors.

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