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J Phys Condens Matter. 2017 Apr 26;29(16):163002. doi: 10.1088/1361-648X/aa62ca. Epub 2017 Feb 24.

Dynamics in steady state in vitro acto-myosin networks.

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Raymond & Beverly Sackler School of Chemistry, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv 6997801, Israel.


It is well known that many biochemical processes in the cell such as gene regulation, growth signals and activation of ion channels, rely on mechanical stimuli. However, the mechanism by which mechanical signals propagate through cells is not as well understood. In this review we focus on stress propagation in a minimal model for cell elasticity, actomyosin networks, which are comprised of a sub-family of cytoskeleton proteins. After giving an overview of th actomyosin network components, structure and evolution we review stress propagation in these materials as measured through the correlated motion of tracer beads. We also discuss the possibility to extract structural features of these networks from the same experiments. We show that stress transmission through these networks has two pathways, a quickly dissipative one through the bulk, and a long ranged weakly dissipative one through the pre-stressed actin network.


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