- Motility and Force Generation Based on the Dynamics of Actin Gels (2009)
- This thesis explores the force generation of actin gels and their famous pro-pulsion mechanism leading to active motility on the cellular scale. In nature the generation of force and motility is regulated by actin binding proteins and the mesoscopic shape of the gel. Here we controlled an analyzed the effect of both, protein regulation and gel morphology by an in-vitro medium consisting of pu-rified proteins and biomimetic beads with a nucleating surface. Under the con-trolled conditions offered by the medium we analyzed the motion of actin pro-pelled colloids and the forces generated by the expanding actin gels using an AFM-based technique. Besides varying the in-vitro conditions and analyzing the effect on motility and force, we developed a new technique to measure intracellular forces in vivo. Hence, the work is structured in three parts: motility analysis, AFM force measurements (both in vitro) and force measurements in living cells.