Getting a Handle on Mechanical Forces in Biological Cells

Professor Anders Carlsson, Department of Physics, Washington University
November 4, 2017 at 10:00 am
300 Lab Sciences
Event Description 

Mechanical forces are crucial in controlling many processes inside cells, and driving cell motion. These forces are generated by microscopic processes inside the cell, including growth of biopolymers, activity of motor proteins, and control of the chemistry of the cell. Fundamental understanding of these force-generating processes has been gained from ingenious physics experiments that determine the forces quantitatively in simple model systems. We will describe measurements of polymer growth forces, motor protein forces, and forces generated by the chemistry of the cell. Such measurements lay the foundation for a quantitative understanding of the cell that will have a lasting impact on health and our understanding of life.