Steering microtubule shuttle transport with dynamically controlled magnetic fields

K. D. Mahajan, G. Ruan, C. J. Dorcéna, G. Vieira, G. Nabar, N. F. Bouxsein, J. J. Chalmers, G. D. Bachand, R. Sooryakumar, J. O. Winter*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Nanoscale control of matter is critical to the design of integrated nanosystems. Here, we describe a method to dynamically control directionality of microtubule (MT) motion using programmable magnetic fields. MTs are combined with magnetic quantum dots (i.e., MagDots) that are manipulated by external magnetic fields provided by magnetic nanowires. MT shuttles thus undergo both ATP-driven and externally-directed motion with a fluorescence component that permits simultaneous visualization of shuttle motion. This technology is used to alter the trajectory of MTs in motion and to pin MT motion. Such an approach could be used to evaluate the MT-kinesin transport system and could serve as the basis for improved lab-on-a-chip technologies based on MT transport.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8641-8649
Number of pages9
Issue number16
Publication statusPublished - 28 Apr 2016
Externally publishedYes


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