Understanding how dividing cells change shape

D. N. Robinson, Y. S. Kee, T. Luo, A. Surcel

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

17 Scopus citations


Cytokinesis is an essential cellular process with significant developmental and medical implications. Fundamentally mechanical, this geometrically simple cell shape change encompasses nearly all cellular processes. Particularly featured are cytoskeletal mechanics, molecular motor mechanochemistry, fluid dynamics, and cellular physiology, all of which are carried out by genetically encoded biomolecules. This chapter presents the current understanding of how these processes and features contribute to the physical aspects of cytokinesis. The chapter is rounded out with a synthesis of the processes into what is emerging as an integrated control system characterized by mechanical and biochemical feedback loops.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationComprehensive Biophysics
PublisherElsevier Inc.
Number of pages25
ISBN (Print)9780080957180
StatePublished - 2012


  • Actin
  • Actin crosslinking proteins
  • Actin polymer mechanics
  • Biochemical feedback
  • Cell cortex
  • Contractile meshwork
  • Contractile ring
  • Cortical tension
  • Cytokinesis
  • Mechanical feedback
  • Myosin II
  • Viscoelasticity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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