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Issue 9, 2010
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Nanomechanics of vimentinintermediate filament networks

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Intermediate filaments are one of three classes of fibrous proteins in the cytoskeleton of eukaryotes, the others being actin filaments and microtubules. The dense filamentous networks and bundles provide important mechanical stability for the cell. Here we directly measure both the structure and mechanical properties of an in vitro model system for intermediate filaments reconstituted from purified vimentin protein at 1 mg mL−1. We show that the mesh size is on the order of 1 µm, a value that is preserved upon addition of divalent ions. These ions act as effective cross-linkers, further stiffening the network.

Graphical abstract: Nanomechanics of vimentin intermediate filament networks

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Article information

06 Jan 2010
25 Feb 2010
First published
11 Mar 2010

Soft Matter, 2010,6, 1910-1914
Article type

Nanomechanics of vimentin intermediate filament networks

S. Köster, Y. Lin, H. Herrmann and D. A. Weitz, Soft Matter, 2010, 6, 1910
DOI: 10.1039/C000113A

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