The cell wall of S. cerevisae serves to protect the cell from thermal, oxidative and mechanical stresses and it is the target for anti-fungal drugs in pathogenic strains. It also serves as a model for cell wall formation in higher eukaryotes. Little is known about its mechanical properties due to the complex nature of its protein and polysaccharide components, and their interconnections. A multi-scale model describing the cell walls nano-mechanical response to AFM tip indentation and the whole cell's response to high hydrostatic pressure, nano-indentation and micro-manipulation compression experiments is under development.
Professor Robert J. Asaro