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Reversible Switching of Microtubule Motility Using Thermoresponsive Polymer Surfaces

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posted on 13.09.2006, 00:00 by Leonid Ionov, Manfred Stamm, Stefan Diez
We report a novel approach for the dynamic control of gliding microtubule motility by external stimuli. Our approach is based on the fabrication of a composite surface where functional kinesin motor-molecules are adsorbed onto a silicon substrate between surface-grafted polymer chains of thermoresponsive poly(N-isopropylacrylamide). By external temperature control between 27 and 35 °C, we demonstrate the reversible landing, gliding, and releasing of motor-driven microtubules in response to conformational changes of the polymer chains. Our method represents a versatile means to control the activity of biomolecular motors, and other surface-coupled enzyme systems, in bionanotechnological applications.