This book bridges the gap between life sciences and physical sciences by providing several perspectives on cellular and molecular mechanics on a fundamental level. It begins with a general introduction to the scales and terms that are used in the field of cellular and molecular biomechanics and then moves from the molecular scale to the tissue scale. It discusses various tissues or cellular systems through the chapters written by prominent engineers and physicists working in various fields of biomechanics. "Big picture" items, such as the number of atoms in cells and the number of cells in an organism, are discussed, followed by several of the physical laws that play a central role in nanoscale biomechanics, including the mechanics of the nucleus and its associated molecules. The book provides several case studies in atomic force microscopy and examines the physical relationship between living cells and laboratory substrata. It delves deeply into the molecular mechanisms of axonal growth, transport, and repair and provides a mechanistic framework for understanding the underlying molecular conditions that contribute to heart disease.
While the quantitative and straightforward language of the book will help the engineering community grasp the concepts better and utilize them effectively, the questions given in each chapter will encourage upper-level undergraduate students, graduate students, or those generally interested in understanding cellular and molecular mechanics to dig deeper into the material. The complimentary solutions manual is available for qualified instructors upon request.
Introduction Brief overview of numbers and scales History of cell mechanics Outline of the book Problems Mechanics of Single Molecules and Single Proteins Macromolecules, small molecules, and machines: How are they alike? How do they differ? Thermal energy, equipartition, and the Boltzmann distribution Thermal ratchets: what are they? A practical definition Detailed balance Entropy and enthalpy Two ways to model a chemomechanical transition: macromechanical view versus statistical mechanics view - when do they apply? Conclusions Problems Nucleus Mechanics DNA Lamins Whole nucleus properties Problems Nanoscale Imaging and Modeling The structures of entropy partitioning Atomic force microscopy Further Considerations Questions Cell-substrate Interactions Introduction Effect of substrate stiffness and matrix ligand on cell morphology Morphology: Integration of biochemical and biophysical factors Effect of substrate stiffness and matrix ligand on cell motility Motility: Integration of biochemical and biophysical factors Effect of substrate stiffness and matrix ligand on cell mechanics Cell mechanics: Integration of biochemical and biophysical factors Changes in substrate stiffness in disease Cell-Substrate Mechanics: Conclusions Axonal Transport and Neuromechanics Introduction Structural organization within the neuron Axonal Transport of the Cytoskeleton Neuromechanics Summary and Outlook Implications for Disease - Valvular Fibrosis and the Myofibroblast Introduction The Myofibroblast Mechanical Regulation of Valvular Fibrosis Conclusions Index References