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Techniques for Measuring Microtubule Stiffness

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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.

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Keywords: Optical-Tweezer; Osmotic Stress; Phospholipid Vesicles; Tubulin-GMPCPP; microtubule-associated proteins (MAPs)

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Laboratoire de Neurobiologie Cellulaire, Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (EPFL), CH-1015 Lausanne, Switzerland.

Publication date: 2007-02-01

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  • Current Nanoscience publishes authoritative reviews and original research reports, written by experts in the field on all the most recent advances in nanoscience and nanotechnology. All aspects of the field are represented including nano- structures, synthesis, properties, assembly and devices. Applications of nanoscience in biotechnology, medicine, pharmaceuticals, physics, material science and electronics are also covered. The journal is essential to all involved in nanoscience and its applied areas.
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