Universiteit Leiden

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Doris Heinrich Lab (Biophysics of Cellular Dynamics)

Intracellular Transport

Bead microrheology: Analysis of active and passive transport in living cells

Project description

We use microbeads engulfed in simple Dictyostelium Discoideum amoebae or mammalian cells as tracers of the internal cellular activity. We aim at understanding the characteristics of the active transport events that take place in the cell, due to the presence of molecular motors. To reliably extract those events of active motion, we developed an algorithm based on the local analysis of the tracer Mean Square Displacement (MSD) function.

By analysing the passive fluctuations of the bead in the cyoplasm, we retrieve the cytoplasm properties, such as viscosity.From the analysis of the active states, corresponding to kinesins and dyneins dragging the bead along microtubules, we retrieve the motors velocity, their travelling distance, etc.

In order to go further in our understanding of intracellular activity, we study the influence of the tracer size on the measured properties. We can also perturb the system by applying an external force on magnetic beads or by adding drugs to depolymerize parts of the cytoskeleton.

Publications from our workgroup in this field

  • M. Otten, A. Nandi, D. Arcizet, M. Gorelashvili, B. Lindner and D. Heinrich, Local Motion Analysis reveals Impact of the Dynamic Cytoskeleton on Intracellular Sub-Diffusion, Biophys. J. 102, 758-767 (2012)
  • A. Nandi, D. Heinrich, B. Lindner, Distribution of Diffusion Measures from Local Mean-Square Displacement Analysis, Phys. Rev. E 86, 021926 (2012)
  • H. Engelke, D. Heinrich, J. O. Raedler, Probing GFP-actin diffusion in living cells using Fluorescence Correlation Spectroscopy, Phys. Biol. 7, 046014 (2010)
  • D. Arcizet, B. Meier, E. Sackmann, J. R├Ądler and D. Heinrich, Temporal analysis of active and passive transport in living cells, Phys. Rev. Lett. 101: 248103 (2008)
  • also linked through the: Virtual Journal of Biological Physics Research 16 (12) (2008)
  • J. Mahowald, D. Arcizet, and D. Heinrich, Impact of external stimuli and cell micro-architecture on intracellular transport states, ChemPhysChem 10, 1559 (2009)
  • C. Pelzl, D. Arcizet,G. Piontek, J. Schlegel and D. Heinrich, Axonal Guidance by Surface Structuring for the Investigation of Vesicle Transport, ChemPhysChem 10, 2884 (2009)
  • D. Heinrich, S. Youssef, B. Schroth-Diez, U. Engel, D. Aydin, J. Bluemmel, J. Spatz, and G. Gerisch, Actin-Cytoskeleton Dynamics in Non-Monotonic Cell Spreading, Cell Adhesion&Migration 2(2), 58-68 (2008)
  • Doris Heinrich and Erich Sackmann, Active mechanical stabilization of the viscoplastic intracellular space of Dictyostelia cells by microtubule-actin crosstalk, Acta Biomaterialia 2: 619-631 (2006)
  • E. Sackmann, A. Reuther and D. Heinrich, Micromechanics of Cells: Viscoelastic Microscopy of Cells, Mechanics of the 21st Century-ICTAM'04 Proceedings, Eds.: W: Gutkovski and T. Kowalevski, Kluwer Academic Press 219-224 (2005)
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