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Phys Rev Lett. 2001 Oct 1;87(14):148102. Epub 2001 Sep 13.

Scaling the microrheology of living cells.

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Physiology Program, Harvard School of Public Health, 665 Huntington Avenue, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, USA.


We report a scaling law that governs both the elastic and frictional properties of a wide variety of living cell types, over a wide range of time scales and under a variety of biological interventions. This scaling identifies these cells as soft glassy materials existing close to a glass transition, and implies that cytoskeletal proteins may regulate cell mechanical properties mainly by modulating the effective noise temperature of the matrix. The practical implications are that the effective noise temperature is an easily quantified measure of the ability of the cytoskeleton to deform, flow, and reorganize.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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