Enhanced diffusion in active intracellular transport Academic Article uri icon


  • Abstract We show that within a living eukaryotic cell, mean square displacement of an engulfed microsphere shows enhanced diffusion scaling as t 3/2 at short times, with a clear crossover to subdiffusive or ordinary diffusion scaling at longer times. The motion, observed nearby the nucleus, is due to interactions with microtubule-associated motor proteins rather than thermal Brownian motion. We propose that time-dependent friction introduced by the intracellular polymer networks leads to sub-ballistic motion, analogous to subdiffusion observed in passive networks of semiflexible biopolymers.

publication date

  • January 1, 2000