Rheological properties of living cytoplasm: endoplasm of Physarum plasmodium.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Magnetic sphere viscoelastometry, video microscopy, and the Kamiya double chamber method (Kamiya, N., 1940, Science [Wash. DC], 92:462-463.) have been combined in an optical and rheological investigation of the living endoplasm of Physarum polycephalum. The rheological properties examined were yield stress, viscosity (as a function of shear), and elasticity. These parameters were evaluated in directions perpendicular; (X) and parallel (Y) to the plasmodial vein. Known magnetic forces were used for measurements in the X direction, while the falling ball technique was used in the Y direction (Cygan, D.A., and B. Caswell, 1971, Trans. Soc. Rheol. 15:663-683; MacLean-Fletcher, S.D., and T.D. Pollard, 1980, J. Cell Biol., 85:414-428). Approximate yield stresses were calculated in the X and Y directions of 0.58 and 1.05 dyn/cm2, respectively. Apparent viscosities measured in the two directions (eta x and eta y) were found to fluctuate with time. The fluctuations in eta x and eta y were shown, statistically, to occur independently of each other. Frequency correlation with dynamoplasmograms indicated that these fluctuations probably occur independently of the streaming cycle. Viscosity was found to be a complex function of shear, indicating that the endoplasm is non-Newtonian. Plots of shear stress vs. rate of shear both parallel and perpendicular to the vein, showed that endoplasm is not a shear thinning material. These experiments have shown that living endoplasm of Physarum is an anisotropic viscoelastic fluid with a yield stress. The endoplasm appears not to be a homogeneous material, but to be composed of heterogeneous domains.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Sato, M; Wong, TZ; Allen, RD

Published Date

  • October 1, 1983

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 97 / 4

Start / End Page

  • 1089 - 1097

PubMed ID

  • 6619187

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC2112616

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0021-9525

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1083/jcb.97.4.1089


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States