Cell Biophysics and Statistical Physics
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Lecture Notes

Theory of biological force sensing

Lecture Notes of the 49th IFF Spring School "Physics of Life" (Forschungszentrum Juelich, 2018).

This lecture focuses on theories for how biological systems sense mechanical forces. We start by introducing molecular force-sensing mechanisms in membrane channels and cytoskeletal molecules. Then, an upper limit to the precision of force-sensing with a two-state system is derived. Finally, we discuss a sequential, threshold-based decision procedure that can provide an optimal solution for cells to reliably detect signals in the presence of noise.