We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. You can change your cookie settings at any time. Otherwise, we'll assume you're OK to continue.

Durham University

Department of Biosciences


Publication details for Prof PJ Hussey

Buxton, GA, Clarke, N & Hussey, PJ (2009). Actin dynamics and the elasticity of cytoskeletal networks. Express Polymer Letters 3(9): 579-587.

Author(s) from Durham


The structural integrity of a cell depends on its cytoskeleton, which includes an actin network. This network is
transient and depends upon the continual polymerization and depolymerization of actin. The degradation of an actin network,
and a corresponding reduction in cell stiffness, can indicate the presence of disease. Numerical simulations will be
invaluable for understanding the physics of these systems and the correlation between actin dynamics and elasticity. Here
we develop a model that is capable of generating actin network structures. In particular, we develop a model of actin
dynamics which considers the polymerization, depolymerization, nucleation, severing, and capping of actin filaments. The
structures obtained are then fed directly into a mechanical model. This allows us to qualitatively assess the effects of changing
various parameters associated with actin dynamics on the elasticity of the material.