Margaret Gardel overviews what is cytoplasm and explains that the cytoplasm is more than just a simple solution inside the cell. It’s a complex, densely packed fluid with unique physical properties ripe for exploration. While explaining what is cytoplasm, she ponders, for example, how motor proteins overcome the physical resistance of carrying cargo, and how cells undergo shape changes in response to different stimuli. To help address these questions, she argues that new theories and approaches are required.
Margaret Gardel is an Associate Professor in the Department of Physics, James Franck Institute, and Institute for Biophysical Dynamics at the University of Chicago. She draws from the fields of condensed matter physics and cell biology to study the mechanics of physical behaviors of cells, including adhesion, shape changes, and force generation. Continue Reading