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Cellular Mechanics

By September 22, 2014Blog

“Tensegrity and mechanoregulation: from skeleton to cytoskeleton”, Christopher S. Chen and Donald E. Ingber, Children’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School. Osteoarthritis and Cartilage (1999) 7, 81-94. doi:10.1053/joca.1998.1064

“Recent studies have confirmed that living cells and nuclei are literally ‘hard-wired’ such that a mechanical tug on cell surface receptors can immediately change the organization of molecular assemblies in the cytoplasm and nucleus. When integrins were pulled by micromanipulating micropipettes bound to cell surface integrins (and the focal adhesion), cytoskeletal filaments reoriented, nuclei distorted, and nucleoli redistributed along the axis of the

applied tension field in time periods much faster than those required for polymerization. Thus, while the cytoskeleton is surrounded by lipid membranes and penetrated by viscous cytosol, it is the discrete filamentous cytoskeleton that provides the main path for mechanical signal transfer through the cytoplasm. The efficiency of force transfer depends directly on the mechanical properties of the cytoskeleton which, in turn, are governed by various interactions between microfilaments, intermediate filaments, and microtubules acting in the cytoplasm.”

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