Enhanced Diffusion in Active Intracellular Transport

Avi Caspi, Rony Granek, Michael Elbaum

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

392 Scopus citations


We show that within a living eukaryotic cell, mean square displacement of an engulfed microsphere shows enhanced diffusion scaling as t3/2 at short times, with a clear crossover to subdiffusive or ordinary diffusion scaling at longer times. The motion, observed nearby the nucleus, is due to interactions with microtubule-associated motor proteins rather than thermal Brownian motion. We propose that time-dependent friction introduced by the intracellular polymer networks leads to sub-ballistic motion, analogous to subdiffusion observed in passive networks of semiflexible biopolymers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5655-5658
Number of pages4
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number26
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2000
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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