Dynamic guiding of motor-driven microtubules on electrically heated, smart polymer tracks

Nano Lett. 2013 Jul 10;13(7):3434-8. doi: 10.1021/nl402004s. Epub 2013 Jun 10.


Biomolecular motor systems are attractive for future nanotechnological devices because they can replace nanofluidics by directed transport. However, the lack of methods to externally control motor-driven transport along complex paths limits their range of applications. Based on a thermo-responsive polymer, we developed a novel technique to guide microtubules propelled by kinesin-1 motors on a planar surface. Using electrically heated gold microstructures, the polymers were locally collapsed, creating dynamically switchable tracks that successfully guided microtubule movement.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Energy Transfer
  • Heating / methods
  • Kinesin / chemistry*
  • Kinesin / ultrastructure*
  • Microtubules / chemistry*
  • Microtubules / ultrastructure*
  • Molecular Motor Proteins / chemistry*
  • Molecular Motor Proteins / ultrastructure*
  • Motion
  • Transducers*


  • KIF5B protein, human
  • Molecular Motor Proteins
  • Kinesin