How hard are these protein droplets?
University at Buffalo physicists are using innovative tools to study the properties of a bizarre class of molecules that may play a role in disease: proteins that cluster together to form spherical droplets inside human cells. The scientists' latest research sheds light on the conditions that drive such droplets to switch from a fluid, liquid-like state to a harder, gel-like state. Using laser "tweezers," the scientists grab protein droplets and push them together -- experiments that reveal information about how hard or fluid the droplets are. The white scale bar in the top-right corner of this video represents a length of 5 microns.
Provided by University at Buffalo