Institute for the Physics of Living Systems


IPLS/BioP Seminar: Dr. François Nédélec (University of Cambridge)

29 January 2020, 11:00 am–12:00 pm

Dr. François Nédélec (University of Cambridge)

Title: Cytoskeleton scaling laws of blood platelets

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2nd Floor Seminar Room (2.30), LMCB
MRC Building
Gower Street

Abstract: Platelets are small cell fragments that are essential to maintaining hemostasis. While traveling in the blood, they adopt a discoid shape that is sustained by a ring of microtubules. To study how this ring sets the size of the platelet, we measured the characteristics of various rings as a function of their size. In resting human and mouse platelets, we find a quadratic law between the size of platelets and the amount of microtubule polymer they contain. We further estimate the length and number of microtubules using Electron and Super-resolution microscopy. In platelets activated with ADP, the marginal band bends as a consequence of cortical contraction driven by actin. Larger platelets have a higher propensity to buckle. Moreover, this elastic buckling response is reversed by elongation of the marginal band. Lastly, we propose a mechanism by which the marginal band can produce outward forces and derive its scaling behavior using simulations. 

About the Speaker

Dr. François Nédélec

at University of Cambridge

More about Dr. François Nédélec