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Rheological characterization of actin polymeric networks: measurement and numerical modeling

Grant number: 13/08342-8
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Master
Effective date (Start): July 01, 2013
Effective date (End): July 31, 2015
Field of knowledge:Interdisciplinary Subjects
Principal Investigator:Adriano Mesquita Alencar
Grantee:Mariana Oshima Menegon
Host Institution: Instituto de Física (IF). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Associated scholarship(s):14/06623-2 - Numerical modeling of actin polymeric networks, BE.EP.MS


An outstanding problem of cellular mechanics is how to relate changes on the cytoskeleton which result in modifications of the viscoelastic properties of the cells. This project proposal is to understand the mechanical behavior of actin fibers, the major component of cytoskeleton, by means of experiments and development of a computational model that describe it, in an attempt to understand the problem. In this context, extensive scientific literature has focused on models of specific behaviors of the cytoskeleton fibers, specifically on actin filaments. However, the global question related to the cellular level remains open. In view of the nanoparticle industry development and the increase of combustion-generated nano and microparticles in the atmosphere, a new relevant problem arises. This problem refers to the question on how particulate material has action on the cell viscoelastic properties, and specifically on the mechanical properties of the cytoskeleton fibers. "In vitro" actin gels experiments will be the starting point to study the mechanical behavior of the fibers. The produced experimental data will be used as a gold standard to the mathematical models that will be developed to simulate the viscoelastic properties of the actin network. Both, experimental data and model will also be used to analize the causes and effects of nanoparticles on the filaments structure. Thus, we will build an experimental and computational framework to study the mechanical properties of the cytoskeleton, by the means of its most abundant component.

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Academic Publications
(References retrieved automatically from State of São Paulo Research Institutions)
MENEGON, Mariana Oshima. Rheological characterization of actin polymeric networks: measurement and numerical modeling. 2015. Master's Dissertation - Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Instituto de Física (IF/SBI) São Paulo.

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