Colloquium on February 9th, 2009

David A. Weitz
Harvard University

Mechanics of biopolymer networks

This talk will discuss the mechanical properties of reconsituted biopolymer networsk, and will explore the applications of the insights obtained from their properties to the mechanics of cells. Networks of reconstituted actin filaments, microtubules and intermediate filaments will be discussed. In addition, the behavior of active networks, which include processive motor proteins, will be compared to that of passive networks. Implications of this behavior on the properties of cells will also be discussed.