Life and Medical Sciences
Cell & Developmental Biology
Wiley InterScience Backfile Collection 1832-2000
A magnetic sphere viscoelastometer has been developed to peform rheological experiments in living axoplasm of Loligo pealei. The technique includes the use of a calibrated magnetic sphere viscoelastometer on surgically implanted ferro-magnetic spheres in intact squid giant axons. The axoplasm was discerned to be “living” by the biological criterion of tubulovesicular organelle motility, which was observed before and after experimentation. From these in vivo experiments, new structural characteristics of the axoplasm have been identified. First, analysis of magnetic sphere trajectories has shown the axoplasm to be a complex viscoelastic fluid. Directional experimentation showed that this material is structurally anisotropic, with a greater elastic modulus in the direction parallel to the axon long axis. Second, both magnetic sphere and in vivo capillary experiments suggested that the axoplasm is tenaciously anchored to the axolemma. Third, it was found that axoplasm could be modelled as a linear viscoelastic material in the low shear rate range of 0.0001 to 0.004 s-1. The simplest mechanical model incorporating the discovered properties of the material in this range is Burger's model.
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