Faculty Sponsor's Department(s):
We study the viscoelasticity of passive microtubule networks over varying microtubule concentrations. Our gels consist of a suspension of microtubules in MgCl2 and PIPES buffer and are doped with fluorescently labeled polystyrene beads. By extracting the mean squared displacement of these beads, we show that viscosity increases as a function of microtubule concentration up to a critical concentration of 0.8 mg/mL. Above this concentration, the gels behave elastically. These data are a control for future experiments that will probe viscoelasticity in microtubule-kinesin-based active gels.