Wednesday Colloquia

Microtubules from a Statistical Physics perspective

by Prof. Dibyendu Das (IIT Bombay)

Wednesday, September 11, 2019 from to (Asia/Kolkata)
at Lecture Theatre ( AG-66 )
Microtubules are bio-polymers which form an important component of the cytoskeleton of eukaryotic cells. They give structural support to cells, provide pathways for intracellular transport, and help in segregation of chromosomes during cell division. At the same time the stochastic kinetics of these bio-filaments (observed in vitro and in vivo) pose many problems of interest to statistical physicists. I would discuss a few of those, including collective force generation by microtubules, and existence of a sharp switching dynamical transition. Finally, I will turn to the first passage problem of chromosome capture by microtubules, and show how the  timescales of capture in different biophysical mechanisms vary with the microtubule number. I will present two interesting statistical methods to estimate the "typical times" associated with the exponential tails of the survival probabilities.


(1) J.S. Aparna, R. Padinhateeri, and D. Das, Sci. Rep. 7: 45747 (2017). 
(2) I. Nayak, D. Das, and A. Nandi, bioRxiv, (2019).