Dynamics of ballistically injected latex particles in living human endothelial cells

Yixuan Li, Siva A. Vanapalli, Michel H.G. Duits

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


We studied the dynamics of ballistically injected latex particles (BIP) inside endothelial cells, using video particle tracking to measure the mean squared displacement (MSD) as a function of lag time. The MSD shows a plateau at short times and a linear behavior at longer times, indicating that the BIP are trapped into a viscoelastic network. To reveal more about the molecular constituents and the dynamics of this actin network, we added a variety of drugs. Latrunculin and Jasplakinolide aimed at intervening with the actin network caused a strong increase in MSD, whereas Taxol aimed at microtubules gave no measurable change in MSD. Additional corroborating information about these drug effects were obtained from MSD amplitude and exponent distributions and from fluorescent staining images of the actin and microtubule networks. Our evidence strongly suggests that BIP are primarily embedded in the actin network. Additional drug interventions aimed at disabling non-thermal forces could not conclusively resolve the nature of the forces driving BIP dynamics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)309-321
Number of pages13
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2009


  • Actin cytoskeleton
  • Ballistic injection
  • Endothelial cells
  • Particle tracking
  • Viscoelasticity


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