Biophysical mechanisms complementing "classical" cell biology

Front Biosci (Landmark Ed). 2018 Jan 1;23:921-939. doi: 10.2741/4625.


This overview addresses phenomena in cell- and molecular biology which are puzzling by their fast and highly coordinated way of organization. Generally, it appears that informative processes probably involved are more on the biophysical than on the classical biochemical side. The coordination problem is explained within the first part of the review by the topic of endogenous electrical phenomena. These are found e.g. in fast tissue organization and reorganization processes like development, wound healing and regeneration. Here, coupling into classical biochemical signaling and reactions can be shown by modern microscopy, electronics and bioinformatics. Further, one can follow the triggered reactions seamlessly via molecular biology till into genetics. Direct observation of intracellular electric processes is very difficult because of e.g. shielding through the cell membrane and damping by other structures. Therefore, we have to rely on photonic and photon - phonon coupling phenomena like molecular vibrations, which are addressed within the second part. Molecules normally possess different charge moieties and thus small electromagnetic (EMF) patterns arise during molecular vibration. These patterns can now be measured best within the optical part of the spectrum - much less in the lower terahertz till kHz and lower Hz part (third part of this review). Finally, EMFs facilitate quantum informative processes in coherent domains of molecular, charge and electron spin motion. This helps to coordinate such manifold and intertwined processes going on within cells, tissues and organs (part 4). Because the phenomena described in part 3 and 4 of the review still await really hard proofs we need concerted efforts and a combination of biophysics, molecular biology and informatics to unravel the described mysteries in "physics of life".

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biology / methods*
  • Biology / trends
  • Biophysical Phenomena*
  • Cells / chemistry*
  • Cells / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Molecular Biology / methods*
  • Molecular Biology / trends
  • Research / instrumentation
  • Research / trends
  • Technology / instrumentation
  • Technology / methods
  • Technology / trends