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We show that the nuclear architecture of rod photoreceptor cells differs fundamentally in nocturnal and diurnal mammals. The rods of diurnal retinas possess the conventional architecture found in nearly all eukaryotic cells, with most heterochromatin situated at the nuclear periphery and euchromatin residing toward the nuclear interior. The rods of(More)
The relationship between the mechanical properties of cells and their molecular architecture has been the focus of extensive research for decades. The cytoskeleton, an internal polymer network, in particular determines a cell's mechanical strength and morphology. This cytoskeleton evolves during the normal differentiation of cells, is involved in many(More)
Biological cells are well known to respond to a multitude of chemical signals. In the nervous system, chemical signaling has been shown to be crucially involved in development, normal functioning, and disorders of neurons and glial cells. However, there are an increasing number of studies showing that these cells also respond to mechanical cues. Here, we(More)
One hundred fifty years ago glial cells were discovered as a second, non-neuronal, cell type in the central nervous system. To ascribe a function to these new, enigmatic cells, it was suggested that they either glue the neurons together (the Greek word "gammalambdaiotaalpha" means "glue") or provide a robust scaffold for them ("support cells"). Although(More)
As they enter mitosis, animal cells undergo profound actin-dependent changes in shape to become round. Here we identify the Cdk1 substrate, Ect2, as a central regulator of mitotic rounding, thus uncovering a link between the cell-cycle machinery that drives mitotic entry and its accompanying actin remodeling. Ect2 is a RhoGEF that plays a well-established(More)
When a dielectric object is placed between two opposed, nonfocused laser beams, the total force acting on the object is zero but the surface forces are additive, thus leading to a stretching of the object along the axis of the beams. Using this principle, we have constructed a device, called an optical stretcher, that can be used to measure the viscoelastic(More)
The mechanical properties of tissues are increasingly recognized as important cues for cell physiology and pathology. Nevertheless, there is a sparsity of quantitative, high-resolution data on mechanical properties of specific tissues. This is especially true for the central nervous system (CNS), which poses particular difficulties in terms of preparation(More)
Human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) are therapeutically useful cells that are typically expanded in vitro on stiff substrata before reimplantation. Here we explore MSC mechanical and structural changes via atomic force microscopy and optical stretching during extended passaging, and we demonstrate that cytoskeletal organization and mechanical stiffness of(More)
This special issue contains some of the current state-of-the-art development and use of micro and nanotechnological tools, devices and techniques for both biological and biomedical research and applications. These include nanoparticles for bioimaging and biosensing, optical and biophotonic techniques for probing diseases at the nanoscale, micro and(More)
Oral squamous cell carcinomas are among the 10 most common cancers and have a 50% lethality rate after 5 years. Despite easy access to the oral cavity for cancer screening, the main limitations to successful treatment are uncertain prognostic criteria for (pre-)malignant lesions. Identifying a functional cellular marker may represent a significant(More)