The mechanical properties of hydrated intermediate filaments: insights from hagfish slime threads.

@article{Fudge2003TheMP,
  title={The mechanical properties of hydrated intermediate filaments: insights from hagfish slime threads.},
  author={Douglas S Fudge and Kenn H Gardner and V. Trevor Forsyth and Christian Riekel and John M. Gosline},
  journal={Biophysical journal},
  year={2003},
  volume={85 3},
  pages={2015-27}
}
Intermediate filaments (IFs) impart mechanical integrity to cells, yet IF mechanics are poorly understood. It is assumed that IFs in cells are as stiff as hard alpha-keratin, F-actin, and microtubules, but the high bending flexibility of IFs and the low stiffness of soft alpha-keratins suggest that hydrated IFs may be quite soft. To test this hypothesis, we measured the tensile mechanics of the keratin-like threads from hagfish slime, which are an ideal model for exploring the mechanics of IF… CONTINUE READING
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