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The Cell as a Machine



Part of Cambridge Texts in Biomedical Engineering

  • Date Published: January 2018
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781107052734

£ 69.99

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About the Authors
  • This unique introductory text explains cell functions using the engineering principles of robust devices. Adopting a process-based approach to understanding cell and tissue biology, it describes the molecular and mechanical features that enable the cell to be robust in operating its various components, and explores the ways in which molecular modules respond to environmental signals to execute complex functions. The design and operation of a variety of complex functions are covered, including engineering lipid bilayers to provide fluid boundaries and mechanical controls, adjusting cell shape and forces with dynamic filament networks, and DNA packaging for information retrieval and propagation. Numerous problems, case studies and application examples help readers connect theory with practice, and solutions for instructors and videos of lectures accompany the book online. Assuming only basic mathematical knowledge, this is an invaluable resource for graduate and senior undergraduate students taking single-semester courses in cell mechanics, biophysics and cell biology.

    • Uniquely links together the biology, biophysics, and engineering principles underlying cell functions
    • Avoids complex mathematical treatments, making it accessible to students with only a basic mathematical background
    • Additional information about many of the functions described in the book can be found online at
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    Product details

    • Date Published: January 2018
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781107052734
    • length: 434 pages
    • dimensions: 253 x 192 x 24 mm
    • weight: 1.11kg
    • contains: 2 b/w illus. 136 colour illus.
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    Part I. Principle of Complex Function in Robust Machines:
    1. Robust self-replicating machines shaped by evolution
    2. Complex functions of robust machines with emergent properties
    3. Integrated complex functions with dynamic feedback
    4. Cells exhibit multiple states, each with different functions
    5. Life at low Reynolds number and the mesoscale leads to stochastic phenomena
    Part II. Design and Operation of Complex Functions:
    6. Engineering lipid bilayers to provide fluid boundaries and mechanical controls
    7. Membrane trafficking – flow and barriers create asymmetries
    8. Signaling and cell volume control through ion transport and volume regulators
    9. Structuring a cell by cytoskeletal filaments
    10. Moving and maintaining functional assemblies with motors
    11. Microenvironment controls life, death and regeneration
    12. Adjusting cell shape and forces with dynamic filament networks
    13. DNA packaging for information retrieval and propagation
    14. Transcribing the right information and packaging for delivery
    15. Turning RNA into functional proteins and removing unwanted proteins
    Part III. Coordination of Complex Functions:
    16. How to approach a coordinated function – cell rigidity sensing and force generation across length scale
    17. Integration of cellular functions for decision making
    18. Moving from omnipotency to death
    19. Cancer versus regeneration – the wrong versus right response to the microenvironment.

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    The Cell as a Machine

    Michael Sheetz, Hanry Yu

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  • Authors

    Michael Sheetz, Columbia University, New York
    Michael Sheetz is Chair of Biological Science at Columbia University, Founding Chair of the Department of Cell Biology at Duke University, and Founding Director of the Mechanobiology Institute at the National University of Singapore. He is also a recipient of the Albert Lasker Basic Medical Research Award.

    Hanry Yu, National University of Singapore
    Hanry Yu is a Professor in both the Department of Physiology and the Mechanobiology Institute at the National University of Singapore, and a Group Leader at the Agency for Science, Technology and Research, Singapore. He has co-taught the material in this book with Michael Sheetz at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Columbia University, and the National University of Singapore.

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