Physics of Living Systems

Physics of Living Systems

eLife publishes research in which approaches from the physical sciences are used to provide insights into the properties of biological systems and processes. Learn more about what we publish and sign up for the latest research.
Illustration by Davide Bonazzi

Latest articles

    1. Physics of Living Systems

    Heterogeneous T cell motility behaviors emerge from a coupling between speed and turning in vivo

    Elizabeth R Jerison, Stephen R Quake
    Motile interstitial T cells in live zebrafish access a broad range of length-scales due to long-lived cell-intrinsic variation in speed, and a coupling between speed and directional persistence.
    1. Physics of Living Systems

    Polar pattern formation induced by contact following locomotion in a multicellular system

    Masayuki Hayakawa et al.
    Transient cell-cell contact of eukaryotic cells, called contact following locomotion, causes cell density segregation, and its high-density region traveled as a band within the disordered background.
    1. Physics of Living Systems

    Mechanics and kinetics of dynamic instability

    Thomas CT Michaels et al.
    A theoretical framework for the growth of microtubules quantifies the roles of geometry, mechanics, kinetics and randomness and provides a phase diagram for dynamic instability in these self-assembled polymers.
    1. Physics of Living Systems

    Dynamics of pattern formation and emergence of swarming in Caenorhabditis elegans

    Esin Demir et al.
    Collective responses of animals are generally controlled by complex biological mechanisms and in Caenorhabditis eleganscollective dynamics are purely controlled by physical parameters such as oxygen penetration and bacterial diffusion.
    1. Cancer Biology
    2. Physics of Living Systems

    Collective forces of tumor spheroids in three-dimensional biopolymer networks

    Christoph Mark et al.
    The forces that multicellular tumor aggregates exert on their environment lead to non-linear, scale-invariant tissue deformations far away from the tumor, which can be exploited to quantify its collective contractility.
    1. Physics of Living Systems
    2. Cell Biology

    The axonal actin-spectrin lattice acts as a tension buffering shock absorber

    Sushil Dubey et al.
    A linear array of spectrin tetramers imparts mechanical stability to axons by allowing spectrin domains to unfold reversibly when an axon is stretched, thereby acting as tension buffers.

Senior editors

  1. Naama Barkai
    Naama Barkai
    Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel
  2. Aleksandra Walczak
    Ecole Normale Superieure, France
  3. See more editors