Microtubules are known to be involved in intracellular signaling. Here, we show in silico that electrically polar collective vibration modes of microtubules form electric oscillating potential which is quasi-periodic both in space and in time. While single mode microtubule vibration excites an electric field with spatially stationary local minima and maxima of the electric field, the multimode excitation causes the formation of an electric pulse and many transient local electric field minima. The biophysical mechanism we describe lends support to the view that microtubules may comprise a substrate for ultra-fast electrical signaling in neurons or other living cells.
Multi-mode electro-mechanical vibrations of a microtubule: In silico demonstration of electric pulse moving along a microtubule
Daniel Havelka, Michal Cifra, Ondřej Kučera; Multi-mode electro-mechanical vibrations of a microtubule: In silico demonstration of electric pulse moving along a microtubule. Appl. Phys. Lett. 16 June 2014; 104 (24): 243702. https://doi.org/10.1063/1.4884118
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