3. Neuromechanics: The Role of Tension in Neuronal Growth and Memory

  1. Horacio D. Espinosa4 and
  2. Gang Bao5
  1. Wylie W. Ahmed1,
  2. Jagannathan Rajagopalan2,
  3. Alireza Tofangchi3 and
  4. Taher A. Saif3

Published Online: 11 DEC 2012

DOI: 10.1002/9781118482568.ch3

Nano and Cell Mechanics: Fundamentals and Frontiers

Nano and Cell Mechanics: Fundamentals and Frontiers

How to Cite

Ahmed, W. W., Rajagopalan, J., Tofangchi, A. and Saif, T. A. (2013) Neuromechanics: The Role of Tension in Neuronal Growth and Memory, in Nano and Cell Mechanics: Fundamentals and Frontiers (eds H. D. Espinosa and G. Bao), John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781118482568.ch3

Editor Information

  1. 4

    Northwestern University, USA

  2. 5

    Georgia Institute of Technology, USA

Author Information

  1. 1

    Department of Mechanical Science & Engineering, University of Illinois, USA

  2. 2

    Arizona State University, USA

  3. 3

    Department of Mechanical Science and Engineering, University of Illinois, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 11 DEC 2012
  2. Published Print: 10 JAN 2013

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781118460399

Online ISBN: 9781118482568

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Keywords:

  • Neuromechanics;
  • cell mechanics;
  • mechanotransduction;
  • neuron function;
  • synaptic plasticity;
  • vesicle dynamics;
  • learning;
  • memory

Summary

Growing experimental evidence suggests that the mechanical micro-environment plays a role in growth and guidance of neurons. Recent studies have shown that mechanical tension plays a role in neuronal function, including neurotransmission and synaptic vesicle clustering. In this review, we discuss the role of mechanical tension in determining the structure and function of neurons and its implication in learning and memory. To interpret the mechanical behavior of neurons a simple mechanics model is proposed based on force generation by molecular motors on cytoskeletal elements. The review concludes by highlighting some unanswered questions in cellular neuromechanics.