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Difference Between Microtubules and Microfilaments

Microtubules vs Microfilaments

Cells are the primary unit of life. Cells were first introduced by Robert Hooke during the 1600’s. Cells have different parts. It contains a nucleus, the main brain of the cell. It also contains mitochondria, the powerhouse of the cell. It produces energy for use. It also has a skeletal framework to hold the organelles. This is called a cytoskeleton. And filling this cytoskeleton is a thick fluid called cytoplasm. It holds all the organelles except the nucleus.

The cytoskeleton is further broken down into microtubules and microfilaments. Microfilaments are thinner in diameter compared to microtubules. Microfilaments are 6 nanometers in diameter while microtubules are 25 nanometers in diameter. Microfilaments are said to be the thinnest structure of cytoskeletons.

Microfilaments or actin filaments are flexible and strong. It can resist buckling and tensile forces done by the scientists. These structures are very versatile. It aids the cell in crawling and via ameboid movement. It is also versatile during changes in cell shape. In short, its main function is movement and aids in shape changes.

Microtubules, on the other hand, are the active component of the cytoskeleton. It has a diameter of 25 nm and has a length from 200 nm up to 25 micrometers. Microtubules function as the main structural piece within the cytoplasm. It is involved in mitosis, vesicular transport, and cytokinesis.

Understanding these two very minute structures we were able to know how one differs from each other and how these are vital in cell functioning and regulation. Structures are very important as they serve as the main foundation of an organism. Just like a building, the skeleton should be strong, versatile, and flexible to all of the unwanted circumstances such as earthquakes, fires, and so on. These wonderful minute structures can serve as an inspiration for us in building strong and trustworthy structures.


1.Microfilaments have thinner diameters than microtubules.

2.Microfilaments function mainly for the movement and shaping of the cell while microtubules function mainly for mitosis, cytokinesis, and vesicular transport.

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  1. The information was helpful

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