A Preliminary Rheological Investigation of Living Physarum Endoplasm

  • Masahiko Sato
  • Terence Z. Wong
  • Robert D. Allen
Part of the NATO Advanced Science Institutes Series book series (NSSA, volume 59)


An improved magnetic viscoelastometer has been developed which is applicable to large syncytial systems. In combination with the double chamber method (16) and videomicroscopy (1), characterization of the endoplasm of Physarum polycephalum has been carried out using the parameters — viscosity, elasticity, and yield point — similar to the experiments of Yagi (28) and Hiramoto (14) but with much improved quantitation.

The yield strength (τ.x) was probed in the direction perpendic­ular to the plasmodial vein with the magnetic particle technique. The mean value determined is 0.58±0.13 dyne/cm2. Trajectories of these particles showed the endoplasm reproducibly manifests a yield point and elastic recoil on termination of the magnetic force (Fm). The form of the trajectory was reminiscent of a Maxwell model.Thus, the endoplasm behaves as a viscoelastic material beyond the yield point.


Magnetic Force Newtonian Fluid Physarum Polycephalum Calibration Chamber Cell BioI 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • Masahiko Sato
    • 1
  • Terence Z. Wong
    • 2
  • Robert D. Allen
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of BiologyDartmouth CollegeHanoverUSA
  2. 2.Thayer School of EngineeringDartmouth CollegeHanoverUSA

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