Neuromechanics: The Role of Tension in Neuronal Growth and Memory

Wylie W. Ahmed, Jagannathan Rajagopalan, Alireza Tofangchi, Taher A. Saif

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Growing experimental evidence suggests that the mechanical micro-environment plays a role in growth and guidance of neurons. Recent studies have shown that mechanical tension plays a role in neuronal function, including neurotransmission and synaptic vesicle clustering. In this review, we discuss the role of mechanical tension in determining the structure and function of neurons and its implication in learning and memory. To interpret the mechanical behavior of neurons a simple mechanics model is proposed based on force generation by molecular motors on cytoskeletal elements. The review concludes by highlighting some unanswered questions in cellular neuromechanics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationNano and Cell Mechanics
Subtitle of host publicationFundamentals and Frontiers
PublisherJohn Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Number of pages27
ISBN (Print)9781118460399
StatePublished - Dec 11 2012


  • Cell mechanics
  • Learning
  • Mechanotransduction
  • Memory
  • Neuromechanics
  • Neuron function
  • Synaptic plasticity
  • Vesicle dynamics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Engineering

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