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Vilfan, Andrej; Frey, Erwin (2005): Oscillations in molecular motor assemblies. In: Journal of physics: Condensed matter, Vol. 17, No. 47: pp. 3901-3911




Autonomous oscillations in biological systems may have a biochemical origin or result from an interplay between force-generating and visco-elastic elements. In molecular motor assemblies the force-generating elements are molecular engines and the visco-elastic elements are stiff cytoskeletal polymers. The physical mechanism leading to oscillations depends on the particular architecture of the assembly. Existing models can be grouped into two distinct categories: systems with a delayed force activation and anomalous force– velocity relations. We discuss these systems within phase plane analysis known from the theory of dynamic systems and by adopting methods from control theory, the Nyquist stability criterion.