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Mechanics of the Cell


By: David Boal(Author)

622 pages, colour & b/w photos, colour & b/w illustrations

Cambridge University Press

Paperback | Jan 2012 | Edition: 2 | #195828 | ISBN-13: 9780521130691
Availability: Usually dispatched within 6 days Details
NHBS Price: £62.99 $83/€71 approx
Hardback | Jan 2012 | Edition: 2 | #195827 | ISBN-13: 9780521113762
Availability: Usually dispatched within 6 days Details
NHBS Price: £103.00 $136/€115 approx

About this book

Exploring the mechanical features of biological cells, including their architecture and stability, Mechanics of the Cell is a pedagogical introduction to the interdisciplinary fields of cell mechanics and soft matter physics from both experimental and theoretical perspectives. This second edition has been greatly updated and expanded, with new chapters on complex filaments, the cell division cycle, the mechanisms of control and organization in the cell, and fluctuation phenomena. Mechanics of the Cell is now in full color which enhances the diagrams and allows the inclusion of new microscopy images. With more than 300 end-of-chapter exercises exploring further applications, Mechanics of the Cell is ideal for advanced undergraduate and graduate students in physics and biomedical engineering.

Reviews of the first edition:

"In Mechanics of the Cell David Boal explains the mechanical properties of the biopolymers found within cells [...] for graduate students in the general field and for biotechnologists required to consider added dimensions to their work it represents a comprehensive text that ought to make it a standard reference for many years."
- Ian Jones, Chemistry in Britain

"If we were really honest with ourselves, most of us would have to admit that we often take the humble biological cell for granted [...] David Boal describes the architecture of the biological cell's internal and external structure in extensive detail [...] This book is highly detailed; by virtue of the incredibly complex mechanics underlying the specialised properties of biological cells, it needs to be!"
- Kevin Coward, Biologist


List of symbols

1. Introduction to the cell
2. Soft materials and fluids

Part I. Rods and Ropes
3. Polymers
4. Complex filaments
5. Two-dimensional networks
6. Three-dimensional networks

Part II. Membranes
7. Biomembranes
8. Membrane undulations
9. Intermembrane and electrostatic forces

Part III. The Whole Cell
10. Structure of the simplest cells
11. Dynamic filaments
12. Growth and division
13. Signals and switches


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David Boal is Professor of Physics at Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, Canada, and has held visiting and adjunct faculty positions at Michigan State University and the University of Illinois. Having previously worked on phase transitions in nuclear matter, his current research interests include biophysics (specifically the mechanical properties and evolution of the cell) and the statistical mechanics of networks and membranes. He is the author of approximately 100 articles in refereed journals, the co-editor of two books: Particles and Fields (1978) and Short Distance Phenomena in Nuclear Physics (1983), and has given numerous invited lectures. Professor Boal teaches undergraduate and graduate courses, ranging from stellar nucleosynthesis to biophysics, for which he has received a faculty teaching award.

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