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........ published in NEWSLETTER # 52

by Professor N. Akkas, Middle East Technical University, Ankara (Turkey)

This book (NATO ASI SERIES H84) contains the proceedings of the third of the meetings called `the NATO Istanbul Meetings on Cytomechanics'. Cytomechanics is the application of the principles of classical mechanics in cytology. It is an applied science which is concerned with the description and evaluation of mechanical properties of cells and their organelles as well as of the forces exerted by them, thus being responsible for the generation and maintenance of cell and tissue architecture.

The meeting has shown that very considerable progress has been achieved by interdisciplinary cooperation of scientists from the diverse fields of cell biology, biomechanics, biophysics, biochemistry, engineering, mathematics and computational science in revealing the detailed and appropriate mechanical explanations of the causes and consequences of active motions of cells, and is on the verge of exciting application in the biomedical field. Such progress is equally relevant to both animal and plant cell development, although the work on plant cells is much less developed and represents an area of potential rapid progress and benefit to the peoples of the world dependent on agricultural products.

The qualitative and biochemical identification of molecular species involved in various aspects of biomechanics of active movement and division of cells has advanced to such a stage that it is now possible (and crucial to further progress in such biomechanics) to develop molecular level models of the processes and reactions which take place in the various stages of division and active motion of cells. Elucidating the underlying molecular dynamics (such computations are now feasible because of the rapid increase in computer capacity, in particular the development of parallel processing) and events which are the basis of macroscopic, continuum mechanics modelling has proved fruitful. Emphasis should be on relating models at a molecular level to the macroscopic events of interest at the cellular, tissue and organ levels because, although progress has been made in molecular biology and protein folding mechanics, this information has not been utilized or incorporated in the function models of interest.
Reference books: A132, E32, H42, H84

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