Intracellular transport analysis in the cytoplasm

D. Heinrich

We use intracellular nanotracers that can be used to analyze cellular transport processes. The aim is to record the process of active transport in living cells, which is driven by molecular motors, using the microrheology of nanoparticles. To detect the movement of nanoparticles in cells, we have developed an algorithm based on local mean square displacement (MSD) analysis.

MSD analysis makes it possible to detect passive movements of the nanotracers in the cytoplasm and thus to infer, for example, the viscosity of the cytoplasm.

From the movement of the nanotracers, active movements triggered by microtubules, for example, can also be detected. MSD analysis then allows conclusions to be drawn about the kinetics of protein-based active cell processes.

Among other things, the influence of the size of the tracer molecules on the kinetics of intracellular transport is investigated. By magnetic manipulation of the nanotracers, transport processes can be specifically influenced. In addition, the administration of proteinases or various drugs enables targeted intervention in the structure of cytoskeletal components or their deactivation and degradation. This opens up interesting possibilities for applications in targeted drug delivery, among others.

Publications within this project: