An Integrated Biophysical Model of Phototropism in the Arabidopsis Hypocotyl
In order to understand how gene expression controls growth, we must first understand how gene products modify the mechanical properties of the cells. The first step in this process is quantification of cell material properties in different growth phases. Using Arabidopsis hypocotyl as our model system, we perform force-indentation experiments with the Cellular Force Microscope. Since these measurements are a combination of geometry, turgor, and material properties, we use geometrically accurate finite element simulation models in order to interpret our data. Our ultimate goal is to build a mechanical model of the growth of the hypocotyl tissue that is physically accurate, and can integrate the effect of genetics on the physical aspects of growth.
Keywords: Continuum Mechanics, Finite Element Method, Cellular Force Microscopy, Abaqus, Matlabback