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Molecular motors in cells typically produce highly directed motion; however, the aggregate, incoherent effect of all active processes also creates randomly fluctuating forces, which drive diffusive-like, nonthermal motion. Here, we introduce force-spectrum-microscopy (FSM) to directly quantify random forces within the cytoplasm of cells and thereby probe(More)
Control over neuronal growth is a fundamental objective in neuroscience, cell biology, developmental biology, biophysics, and biomedicine and is particularly important for the formation of neural circuits in vitro, as well as nerve regeneration in vivo [Zeck, G. & Fromherz, P. (2001) Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 98, 10457-10462]. We have shown experimentally(More)
Investigation of host-environment interactions in the gut would benefit from a culture system that maintained tissue architecture yet allowed tight experimental control. We devised a microfabricated organ culture system that viably preserves the normal multicellular composition of the mouse intestine, with luminal flow to control perturbations (e.g.,(More)
Megakaryocytes generate platelets by remodeling their cytoplasm into long proplatelet extensions, which serve as assembly lines for platelet production. Although the mechanics of proplatelet elongation have been studied, the terminal steps of proplatelet maturation and platelet release remain poorly understood. To elucidate this process, released(More)
Cell movement is a complex phenomenon primarily driven by the actin network beneath the cell membrane, and can be divided into three general components: protrusion of the leading edge of the cell, adhesion of the leading edge and deadhesion at the cell body and rear, and cytoskeletal contraction to pull the cell forward. Each of these steps is driven by(More)
The actin cytoskeleton is a key element of cell structure and movement whose properties are determined by a host of accessory proteins. Actin cross-linking proteins create a connected network from individual actin filaments, and though the mechanical effects of cross-linker binding affinity on actin networks have been investigated in reconstituted systems,(More)
The mechanical properties of a cell determine many aspects of its behavior, and these mechanics are largely determined by the cytoskeleton. Although the contribution of actin filaments and microtubules to the mechanics of cells has been investigated in great detail, relatively little is known about the contribution of the third major cytoskeletal component,(More)
Bone marrow megakaryocytes produce platelets by extending long cytoplasmic protrusions, designated proplatelets, into sinusoidal blood vessels. Although microtubules are known to regulate platelet production, the underlying mechanism of proplatelet elongation has yet to be resolved. Here we report that proplatelet formation is a process that can be divided(More)
Platelet transfusions total >2.17 million apheresis-equivalent units/year in the United States and are derived entirely from human donors despite clinically significant immunogenicity, associated risk of sepsis, and inventory shortages due to high demand and 5-day shelf life. To take advantage of known physiological drivers of thrombopoiesis we have(More)
Cells migrate through a crowded environment during processes such as metastasis or wound healing, and must generate and withstand substantial forces. The cellular motility responses to environmental forces are represented by their force-velocity relation, which has been measured for fish keratocytes but remains unexplained. Even pN opposing forces slow down(More)