Cytoskeletal Mechanics and Cellular Mechanotransduction: A Molecular Perspective

Chapter

Abstract

Cells are highly complex structures with unique physiology and biomechanical properties. A multiscale multiphysics methodology is required to properly understand the intrinsically coupled mechanobiology of the cell and describe its macroscopic response to externally applied stresses. This indeed is both a challenge and an excellent research opportunity. This chapter reviews the latest advancements in this field by bringing together the recent experimental and theoretical studies on the cytoskeletal rheology and mechanics as well as the dynamic response of the cell to environmental stimuli. The experimental observations along with computational approaches used to study the mechanical properties of the individual constituents of the cytoskeleton are first presented. Various computational models are then discussed ranging from discrete filamentous models to continuum level models developed to capture the highly dynamic and constantly changing properties of the cells to external and internal stimuli. Finally, the concept of cellular mechanotransduction is discussed as an essential function of the cell wherein the cytoskeleton plays a key role.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Mechanical Engineering DepartmentStanford UniversityStanfordUSA
  2. 2.Department of BioengineeringUniversity of CaliforniaBerkeleyUSA

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