Kei Müller wins Scientific Image Competition
A layer biopolymer network of actin filaments interconnected by crosslinker molecules.
Great news from Portugal: Kei Müller has won the scientific image competition at the ECCOMAS Young Investigators conference in Aveiro! Have a look yourself and see how the winning photo mimics the aesthetics of fluorescene microscopy imagery.
Kei´s reserach is part of a project that deals with the cytoskeleton of a biological cell - a biopolymer network. It largely determines cellular mechanics and drives and catalyzes many biological and biochemical processes within the cell. Actin filaments interconnected by small crosslinker molecules are its main constituent. In order to account for its vast range of tasks, the cytoskeleton is able to reorganize its structure by means of different species of crosslinkers.
The visual goal of the renderings presented here is to mimic the aesthetics of fluorescence microscopy imagery. They are the results of Brownian dynamics simulations discretizing filaments (green) and crosslinkers (blue, red) with nonlinear finite beam elements. Each of them depicts a network architecture arising in the presence of a single crosslinker species. In the case of the cluster and the layer network, respectively, crosslinkers prefer linking filaments orthogonal to each other. The network of bundles, however, develops in the presence of crosslinkers that have no preferred linking orientation.
As all these network architectures have been observed experimentally, the simulations are very likely to provide new insight into the micromechanical properties of the cell.
Congratulations to Kei!
Read more about Kei´s project team here.