Collision induced spatial organization of microtubules

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V.A. Baulin, C.M. Marques, F. Thalmann

Biophysical Chemistry, 128(2-3), 231 – 244 (2007)

The dynamic behavior of microtubules in solution can be strongly modified by interactions with walls or other structures. We examine here a microtubule growth model where the increase in size of the plus-end is perturbed by collisions with other microtubules. We show that such a simple mechanism of constrained growth can induce ordered structures and patterns from an initially isotropic and homogeneous suspension. We find that microtubules self-organize locally in randomly oriented domains that grow and compete with each other. A weak orientation bias, similar to the one induced by gravity or cellular boundaries is enough to influence the domain growth direction, eventually leading to a macroscopic sample orientation.

name=”Vladimir Baulin”
] [people_short
name=”Carlos Marques”
] [people_short
name=”Fabrice Thalmann”
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Written by Vladimir Baulin
<p>Expertise is computer simulations and theory of soft matter systems. Research is focused on the topics in the theory of Soft matter, polymer physics.</p>

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