Study of the cellular mesoscale, the scale level bridging nanometer-sized molecular structure with micron-sized cellular structure, is opening a new window on the processes of life. Most of the large-scale processes of cells are only comprehensible when seen through the lens of their cellular context. For example, the crowded nature of cells markedly changes the structure, function, and interaction of the component molecules, and transport between cellular compartments provides essential regulatory capabilities. Biomedical research also relies on detailed understanding of the cellular mesoscale, since many disease states, including atherosclerosis and Alzheimer’s disease, are a consequence of disruption of cellular processes by aberrant mesoscale structure and interaction.
We are currently developing methods to create 3D integrative models of cellular environments and entire cells, to bridge the experimental gap between molecular structure and cellular function. These methods are computationally intensive, challenging both in the size of the models and the intrinsic difficulty for intuitive visualization.
CellPACK tools for creating 3D models of mesoscale systems
Mesoscope interactive web-based tool for generation and curation of mesoscale recipes
CellPAINT interactive application for digital painting of mesoscale images
LatticeNucleoid tools for generating models of viral and bacterial nucleoids
3D model of an idealized Mycoplasma cell.
Video by Martina Maritan using software by Ludovic Autin.