Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science

Degree Level



Biomedical Engineering


Pinto, Ines


Cell division is a vital biological process for growth and development in both single and multi-cellular organisms—whereby the cell must duplicate its organelles and genome in entirety and appropriately distribute the copied contents to the daughter cells. Cells undergo a cycle of two distinct phases: interphase and mitosis. During interphase, the cell replicates its genomic DNA (in the form of chromosomes) located within the nucleus. DNA replication is carried out in a euchromatin state, where the chromosome structure is loose and easily accessible by DNA polymerase and other replication enzymes. Upon the completion of replication, chromatin is condensed into highly compacted chromosomes. The replicated chromosomes, now called “sister chromatids,” are joined together at the centromere, which contains kinetochore proteins—a specialized protein-DNA structure that serves as an essential anchor for microtubule attachments during chromosome segregation in cell division (Bouck et al., 2008). During mitosis, four characteristic phases are observed: (i) prophase, marked by chromosome condensation; (ii) metaphase, marked by chromosome alignment at the metaphase plate; (iii) anaphase, marked by the imminent segregation of sister chromatids; and (iv) telophase, marked by the reformation of the nuclei and the subsequent separation of daughter cells (Yanagida, 2014). When undergoing mitosis, each daughter cell must end with an identical copy of the DNA from the parent in order for the faithful conservation of its genome and ensuring proper development.


Cell division, IN080 chromatin, genomics, DNA, chromosomes