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Title: Microrheology to explore protein and cell dynamics
Author: Warren, Rebecca Louisa
ISNI:       0000 0004 2714 6624
Awarding Body: University of Glasgow
Current Institution: University of Glasgow
Date of Award: 2012
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In this thesis, I explore the applications of optical tweezers and passive video particle tracking microrheology for bioanalytical applications. Microrheology is a branch of rheology that has the same principles as conventional bulk rheology, but which works on micron length scales. Microrheological techniques relate the free or the driven motion of micron-sized tracer particles suspended in the fluid under investigation to the ‘elastic’ and ‘viscous’ components of the material. These components can be related to the dynamics of the molecules that make up the fluid, and thus microrheology has the potential to reveal new information about the microscopic properties of complex materials. Optical tweezers are sensitive instruments that have been used to apply forces on the order of pN and to measure the displacements down to nm of objects ranging in size from 10 nm to over 100μm, making them an essential tool for microrheology. Here, we have developed a new set of analytical methods for microrheological measurements of biological and bio-analytical systems. In particular, we have developed two new self-consistent procedures for measuring the linear viscoelastic properties of materials across the widest frequency range achievable with optical tweezers (Phys.Review E. (2010) 81:2, and J. Optics (2011) 13:4). Furthermore, we present a straightforward procedure for measuring the in vivo linear viscoelastic properties of single cells via passive video particle tracking microrheology of single beads attached to the cells’ exterior. Notably, the procedure presented here represents an alternative methodology that can be extended to many experimental formats and provides a simple addition to existing cellular physiology studies. In addition, we introduce new methodologies for deriving the concentration scaling laws of polymer and biopolymer solutions from microrheological measurements carried out with optical tweezers. These methods have been adopted to investigate the concentration scaling laws of in vitro reconstituted actin solutions and actin/myosin solutions
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: QC Physics ; Q Science (General)