Effects of cross-link and myosin motor concentrations on active muscle gel contraction time and extent
Author(s)Babcock, Joseph M. (Joseph Michel)
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Mechanical Engineering.
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The cytoskeleton is a crucial network of actin filaments that gives the cell its shape, assists in organelle organization, and allows for cell movement. Active muscle gels are a class of materials that that mimic the functionality of the cytoskeleton. Utilizing myosin II motor proteins to initiate contraction events in actin networks, active muscle gels have the unique potential of acting as microscopic actuators. Two challenges currently faced by active muscle gels are their slow contraction time and weak contraction forces. This thesis seeks to achieve contraction events in a lab setting and observe how contraction speed and extent varies with the concentration of myosin motors and alpha-actinin crosslinks.
Thesis: S.B., Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Department of Mechanical Engineering, 2017.Cataloged from PDF version of thesis.Includes bibliographical references (page 26).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Mechanical Engineering.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology