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We have determined the mechanical anisotropy of a single microtubule by simultaneously measuring the Young's and the shear moduli in vitro. This was achieved by elastically deforming the microtubule deposited on a substrate tailored by electron-beam lithography with a tip of an atomic force microscope. The shear modulus is 2 orders of magnitude lower than(More)
During their production, single-walled carbon nanotubes form bundles. Owing to the weak van der Waals interaction that holds them together in the bundle, the tubes can easily slide on each other, resulting in a shear modulus comparable to that of graphite. This low shear modulus is also a major obstacle in the fabrication of macroscopic fibres composed of(More)
Intermediate filaments (IFs), together with actin filaments and microtubules, compose the cytoskeleton. Among other functions, IFs impart mechanical stability to cells when exposed to mechanical stress and act as a support when the other cytoskeletal filaments cannot keep the structural integrity of the cells. Here we present a study on the bending(More)
[a] Microtubules (MTs) are complex protein polymers composed of a and b tubulin dimers which assemble into threads called protofilaments. Between eight and nineteen protofilaments may form a hollow tube of several micrometers long. [1±6] The most common MTs, 13 protofilament MTs, have a diameter of 24 nm with a wall about 5 nm thick and a hollow central(More)
We exploit the remarkable low-friction bearing capabilities of multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWNTs) to realize nanoelectromechanical switches. Our switches consist of two open-ended MWNT segments separated by a nanometer-scale gap. Switching occurs through electrostatically actuated sliding of the inner nanotube shells to close the gap, producing a(More)
The pathological hallmarks of Alzheimer's disease (AD) consist of beta-amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles in affected brain areas. The processes, which drive this host reaction are unknown. To determine whether an analogous host reaction to that occurring in AD could be induced by infectious agents, we exposed mammalian glial and neuronal cells in(More)
The cytoskeleton, composed of actin filaments, intermediate filaments, and microtubules, is a highly dynamic supramolecular network actively involved in many essential biological mechanisms such as cellular structure, transport, movements, differentiation, and signaling. As a first step to characterize the biophysical changes associated with cytoskeleton(More)
The thermal position fluctuations of a single micron-sized sphere immersed in a fluid were recorded by optical trapping interferometry with nanometer spatial and microsecond temporal resolution. We find, in accord with the theory of Brownian motion including hydrodynamic memory effects, that the transition from ballistic to diffusive motion is delayed to(More)
An important issue in nanoelectromechanical systems is developing small electrically driven motors. We report on an artificial nanofabricated motor in which one short carbon nanotube moves relative to another coaxial nanotube. A cargo is attached to an ablated outer wall of a multiwalled carbon nanotube that can rotate and/or translate along the inner(More)
Carbon nanotube material can now be produced in macroscopic quantities. However, the raw material has a disordered structure, which restricts investigations of both the properties and applications of the nanotubes. A method has been developed to produce thin films of aligned carbon nanotubes. The tubes can be aligned either parallel or perpendicular to the(More)