Tel Aviv University

Tel Aviv University
Condensed Matter Theory Seminar

Academic Year  2003 - 2004

The seminar is held in Room 204 in the Shenkar Physics Building, every Monday at 16:00


November 3, 2002

"Phase Transitions in the Cytoskeleton"

Dr. Itamar Borukhov
Dept. of Materials and Interfaces, The Weizmann Institute of Science

    The cellular cytoskeleton relies on structural elements formed from F-actin, a highly charged, stiff biopolymer, linked together by actin-binding proteins (linkers) that can bind two actin filaments together. The resulting structures can have very different morphologies, depending on the concentrations of biopolymers and linkers. In crawling cells such as blood platelets, F-actin primarily assembles into a network but can alternatively assemble into bundles; this is important to cell motility and adhesion. This suggests that the system could be near a phase transition between networks and bundles. I will present a theoretical study that elucidates the physical mechanisms that control these structures and their stability. The study is based on a generalized Onsager theory that includes linker-mediated attractions between charged filaments, and that yields phase diagrams as a function of actin concentration and linker concentration.

Host: Prof. David Andelman, x7239
Fall 2003 Schedule Spring 2004 Schedule

For more information or for directions to 204 Shenkar please contact: Chava Belson  03-6408300

To suggest potential speakers or register feedback contact:  Ron Lifshitz  03-6405145

Sponsored by:   The Condensed Matter Physics Department, The School of Physics & Astronomy, Tel Aviv University.