Due to the increasing recognition of the role that force plays in biological processes, a new field, mechanobiology, has recently emerged. One aspect of this is the need to gain a physical understanding of the viscoelastic properties of the cytoskeleton. Numerous studies, both in living cells and in reconstituted actin gels, have been conducted, but important questions still remain. Of these an important issue revolves around the role played by actin crosslinking proteins (ACPs), and whether they undergo unfolding or unbinding under stress. This issue is complicated by the fact that single molecule studies show that both events occur within a similar range of forces, on the order of 20–100 pN.

This content is only available via PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.