Statistical and Biological Physics

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In eukaryotic cells, a network of highly dynamic filamentous biopolymers, called microtubules, is involved in many vital processes such as intracellular organization and cell division. To ensure a proper functioning of these processes, a precise regulation of the microtubule network is inevitable. It relies on an intricate but largely unsolved interplay of a plethora of microtubule-associated proteins. In our study, we employ a mathematical model to elucidate mechanisms exploited by two central microtubule-regulating proteins to ensure efficient regulation. more

In this work, we probe a fundamental question in cellular and developmental biology: how do self-organized (Turing) protein patterns evolve with cell growth and achieve robustness in a fluctuating environment? Whereas studies on the effect of noise and boundary growth on cellular metabolism have lead to great advances in the past decade, our understanding of dynamic spatial organization is lagging behind in this context despite its pervasive importance. Essentially, adding geometric perturbations and spatial heterogeneity to the already complex problems of spatio-temporal patterns easily drives them beyond the accessibility of present approaches. more