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Proceedings Paper

Cells and gels: implications for mechanics (Keynote address)
Author(s): Gerald H. Pollack
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Paper Abstract

That the cell is a gel has been well established. If so, then a logical approach to the understanding of cell function may be through an understanding of gel function. Great strides have been made recently in understanding the principles of gel dynamics. It has become clear that a central mechanism in biology is the polymer-gel phase-transition: a major structural change prompted by a subtle change of environment. Phase-transitions are capable of doing mechanical work, and such mechanisms could be responsible for much of the mechanical work of the cell. Here, we consider this approach. We set up a polymer-gel-based foundation for cell function, and explore the extent to which this foundation explains how the cell goes about its business, with an eye toward mechanics.

Paper Details

Date Published: 12 April 2005
PDF: 4 pages
Proc. SPIE 5852, Third International Conference on Experimental Mechanics and Third Conference of the Asian Committee on Experimental Mechanics, (12 April 2005); doi: 10.1117/12.621677
Show Author Affiliations
Gerald H. Pollack, Univ. of Washington (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5852:
Third International Conference on Experimental Mechanics and Third Conference of the Asian Committee on Experimental Mechanics
Chenggen Quan; Fook Siong Chau; Anand Asundi; Brian Stephen Wong; Chwee Teck Lim, Editor(s)

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