Microscale transport and sorting by kinesin molecular motors

Lili Jia, Samira G. Moorjani, Thomas N. Jackson, William O. Hancock

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

114 Scopus citations


As biomolecular detection systems shrink in size, there is an increasing demand for systems that transport and position materials at micron- and nanoscale dimensions. Our goal is to combine cellular transport machinery - kinesin molecular motors and microtubules - with integrated optoelectronics into a hybrid biological/engineered microdevice that will bind, transport, and detect specific proteins, DNA/RNA molecules, viruses, or cells. For microscale transport, 1.5 μm deep channels were created with SU-8 photoresist on glass, kinesin motors adsorbed to the bottom of the channels, and the channel walls used to bend and redirect microtubules moving over the immobilized motors. Novel channel geometries were investigated as a means to redirect and sort microtubules moving in these channels. We show that DC and AC electric fields are sufficient to transport microtubules in solution, establishing an approach for redirecting microtubules moving in channels. Finally, we inverted the geometry to demonstrate that kinesins can transport gold nanowires along surface immobilized microtubules, providing a model for nanoscale directed assembly.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)67-74
Number of pages8
JournalBiomedical Microdevices
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2004

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Molecular Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'Microscale transport and sorting by kinesin molecular motors'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this