Author(s): Havelka D, Cifra M, Kuera O, Pokorn J, Vrba J
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Abstract Microtubules are important structures in the cytoskeleton, which organizes the cell. Since microtubules are electrically polar, certain microtubule normal vibration modes efficiently generate oscillating electric field. This oscillating field may be important for the intracellular organization and intercellular interaction. There are experiments which indicate electrodynamic activity of variety of cells in the frequency region from kHz to GHz, expecting the microtubules to be the source of this activity. In this paper, results from the calculation of intensity of electric field and of radiated electromagnetic power from the whole cellular microtubule network are presented. The subunits of microtubule (tubulin heterodimers) are approximated by elementary electric dipoles. Mechanical oscillation of microtubule is represented by the spatial function which modulates the dipole moment of subunits. The field around oscillating microtubules is calculated as a vector superposition of contributions from all modulated elementary electric dipoles which comprise the cellular microtubule network. The electromagnetic radiation and field characteristics of the whole cellular microtubule network have not been theoretically analyzed before. For the perspective experimental studies, the results indicate that macroscopic detection system (antenna) is not suitable for measurement of cellular electrodynamic activity in the radiofrequency region since the radiation rate from single cells is very low (lower than 10⁻²⁰ W). Low noise nanoscopic detection methods with high spatial resolution which enable measurement in the cell vicinity are desirable in order to measure cellular electrodynamic activity reliably. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
This article was published in J Theor Biol
and referenced in Journal of Computer Science & Systems Biology