Abstract: a cell. Hence, exploring the micro-mechanism of

Abstract: Cytoskeleton is a multiscale dynamic
networks in mechanics-chemistry-biology, and plays an essential role in many
biological process, such as cell spreading, migration and cellular
mechanotransduction. In addition, the polymorphism of its microstructure and
dynamic reorganization determine the mechanical behaviours and stability of a
cell. Hence, exploring the micro-mechanism of these dynamic behaviours is a
challenging problem. In this paper, the latest development of experimental and
theoretical studies on the reorganization and mechanical behaviours of
cytoskeleton is reviewed. Future development and challenges are also


Key Words: Cytoskeleton; Micro-structure; Reorganization;







The cytoskeleton was found very late until the use of glutaraldehyde at room temperature in 1960s, which
make it observable with the electron microscope. It consists of a structural
system called cytoskeletal system, and it is named three intracellular systems
together with intracellular genetic systems and cell membranes system. In most mammals, three kinds of filaments in cells make up the
cytoskeleton system: Microtubules, Microfilaments and Intermediate filaments (Figure
1). Then dimension of microtubules is normally 25nm, the largest one, which
takes longest time to growth and it is comparatively steady than the others.
And microtubules build the main structure of cytoskeleton, supporting the
microfilaments and intermediate filaments. Microfilaments have the smallest
dimension (about 7nm) among them, and mainly make up from actin, so are named
actin filaments sometimes. The active actin filaments are formed with a complex
cycle, including many cooperation of various types of actin proteins. The
formation is assisted by a wild range of actin-binding different proteins and
sometimes overlapping activities (Jockusch, 2017). The diameter of
intermediate filaments is between microtubules and intermediate filaments,
commonly 10nm. The cytoskeleton’s varied functions depend on the behaviour of
three families of filaments, such as transformation, motility, growth and
differentiation (Alberts, 2008).

Fig. 1.

Diagrams of the cytoskeleton system

Recently, many important events about cell in
different time and space scales have been discovered, including the cellular
mechanotransduction. Briefly, the
cellular mechanotransduction is a big discovery in the biology, and analysis of
this subject need to understand Stretch-activated ion channels, caveolae,
integrins, cadherins, growth factor receptors, myosin motors, cytoskeletal
filaments, nuclei, extracellular matrix, and numerous other structures and
signaling molecules (Ingber,
And it is a process that outside signal transmits to intracellular while cell
contacts the environment, which influences the growth/depolymerisation and
cross-linking/unbinding of cytoskeleton. This process consists of a range of dynamic
response. In contrast, this dynamic response will make an effect on the
environment and both of them achieve a dynamic balance eventually. Cellular mechanotransduction
has a deep influence on cell and biodiversity, and exploring and discovering cellular
mechanotransduction not only promote the development of biomedicine, but also like
the goal scientists want to achieve. The study in cellular mechanotransduction
still has numbers of problems to be solved, but the important role cytoskeleton
plays in the cellular mechanotransduction is widely recognised.

Besides that, cytoskeleton
network is a kind of spatial flexible structure that can be simulated by
mechanical model. From the viewpoint of bionics, the cytoskeleton model has
certain reference value for the study of spatial structure.

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