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Probing cytoskeleton dynamics by intracellular particle transport analysis

: Götz, Maria; Hodeck, Kai F.; Witzel, Patrick; Nandi, Amitabha; Lindner, Benjamin D.; Heinrich, Doris


European physical journal special topics 224 (2015), No.7, pp.1169-1183
ISSN: 1951-6355
ISSN: 1951-6401
Journal Article
Fraunhofer ISC ()
Zelle; Partikel; Transportprozesse; Zellskelett; Life Science

All cellular functions arise from the transport of molecules through a heterogeneous, highly dynamic cell interior for intracellular signaling. Here, the impact of intracellular architecture and cytoskeleton dynamics on transport processes is revealed by high-resolution single particle tracking within living cells, in combination with time-resolved local mean squared displacement (I-MSD) analysis. We apply the I-MSD analysis to trajectories of 200 nm silica particles within living cells of Dictyostelium discoideum obtained by high resolution spinning disc confocal microscopy with a frame rate of 100 fps and imaging in one fixed focal plane. We investigate phases of motor-driven active transport and subdiffusion, normal diffusion, as well as superdiffusion with high spatial and temporal resolution. Active directed intracellular motion is attributed to microtubule associated molecular motor driven transport with average absolute velocities of 2.8 µm s-1 for 200 nm diameter particles. Diffusion processes of these particles within wild-type cells are found to exhibit diffusion constants ranging across two orders of magnitude from subdiffusive to superdiffusive behavior. This type of analysis might prove of ample importance for medical applications, like targeted drug treatment of cells by nano-sized carriers or innovative diagnostic assays.