Techniques for Measuring Microtubule Stiffness
Studies conducted during the past few decades have revealed the existence of a close connection between the mechanical responses of biological structures to stimuli and the functions of different cells, tissues and organs. The cornerstone to understanding this chain of reactions lies in a knowledge of the mechanical properties of the structures implicated in the transduction of mechanical signals. A progress in this direction has evolved rapidly in recent years, owing to innovations in the techniques used for measuring forces in the piconewton range and displacements smaller than a nanometer. In this short review, we survey the technologies that have been applied to measure the mechanical properties of one cytoskeletal component: the microtubules.
Keywords: Phospholipid Vesicles, microtubule-associated proteins (MAPs), Tubulin-GMPCPP, Optical-Tweezer, Osmotic Stress
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