Rheological properties of the actin cytoskeleton
Cells have various actin structures that play a significant role in numerous biological functions. The actin structures can behave as either elastic solid or viscous fluid, depending on conditions. Understanding their viscoelastic properties is indispensable for elucidating the mechanics of cells as well as for comprehending a wide variety of cellular processes. We have been investigating how the mechanical and dynamic properties of the components at a microscopic scale determine the viscoelastic behaviors and moduli of the actin cytoskeleton at a macroscopic scale.