This is a simple Java applet to simulate a set of dynamic microtubules drawn as an aster. Shrinking microtubules are drawn in yellow, growing ones in white. A profile of the length distribution is shown inverted in the upper left corner. Yellow horizontal lines shows the instantaneous curve nbOfMicrotubues(length), the white line is an average over a time period defined by the parameter 'averaging'. The scale bar on top is 10 micro-meters total. Just below the scale bar, a little yellow vertical bar show the theoretical mean length, the white bar shows the instantaneous average length of microtubules.
You can specify the four parameters of dynamic instability: Grow speed, shrink speed (micro-meter / minutes ) Catastrophe and rescue frequencies ( per minutes ) The number of microtubules in the aster
The simulation is synchronized with the clock on your computer, accelerated by the factor 'acceleration'. So if you set acceleration to 1, the little clock in the upper right should take one minute per turn. The paramter 'clock' is the actual time step of the simulation. The smaller the better. If the calculation cannot be done fast enough to keep the synchronization, the clock will show two hands: a slower white hand for the simulated time, and a yellow hand showing the accelerated real time.Press the 'set' button if you want to apply your changes to any of the parameter. F. Nedelec.