On the role of microtubules in cell polarity: A reconstituted minimal system

Research output: ThesisDissertation (TU Delft)

53 Downloads (Pure)


Every living organism consists of cells. Even for the simplest single-cell organism, this cell is extremely complex. Thousands of components (such asDNA, cytoskeletal filaments, proteins, lipids, nutrients and energy) are organized both spatially and temporally to ensure proper functioning of vital cellular processes. One of those processes is pattern formation, or cell polarity. Cell polarity is defined as the morphological and functional differentiation of cellular compartments in a directional manner. This directionality is crucial for processes like cell division, cell migration and cell growth, which require an asymmetric action of the cell. When polarity is inhibited by silencing of cell polarity proteins, cells become deformed and have trouble to function, if viable at all. It is well-known that cell polarity is the result of reaction-diffusion and cytoskeleton-based mechanisms, but the exact mechanisms remain unknown. In this thesis, we focus on the latter, and more specifically on one type of cytoskeletal filaments: microtubules (MTs). Our goal is to study the role of MTs in cell polarity establishment.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • Delft University of Technology
  • Dogterom, A.M., Supervisor
Award date21 Sep 2020
Print ISBNs978-90-8593-447-9
Publication statusPublished - 20 Aug 2020


  • cell polarity
  • emulsion droplets
  • microtubules
  • reconstitution

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