Martin G L van den Heuvel

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Integration of biomolecular motors in nanoengineered structures raises the intriguing possibility of manipulating materials on nanometer scales. We have managed to integrate kinesin motor proteins in closed submicron channels and to realize active electrical control of the direction of individual kinesin-propelled microtubule filaments at Y junctions. Using(More)
We present a simple method to determine the persistence length of short submicrometer microtubule ends from their stochastic trajectories on kinesin-coated surfaces. The tangent angle of a microtubule trajectory is similar to a random walk, which is solely determined by the stiffness of the leading tip and the velocity of the microtubule. We demonstrate(More)
The mechanics of microtubules, cylindrical protein filaments that constitute the cytoskeleton, have been well characterized on long length scales. Here, we investigate the persistence length of short (approximately 0.1 microm) ends of microtubules by measuring the trajectories of kinesin-propelled microtubules under perpendicular electric forces. We relate(More)
We show that the speed of microtubules gliding over a kinesin-coated surface can be controlled over a wide range of values by the application of an electric field. The speed can be increased by up to a factor of 5 compared to the speed at zero field when assisting forces are applied and slowed down to zero velocity for opposing fields. Sideways applied(More)
We demonstrate highly efficient rectification of microtubule motility on gold nanofabricated structures. First, we present a novel nanofabrication process for the creation of gold tracks for microtubule motility recessed in silicon oxide. This approach is particularly useful because it enables the use of the well-understood PEG-silane chemistry on SiO2 for(More)
We demonstrate localized electrical control of the docking of microtubules onto engineered kinesin-coated structures. After applying a voltage to a gold electrode, we observe an enhanced transport of microtubules from solution toward the surface and a subsequent increase of the amount of moving microtubule shuttles. Switching off the voltage leads to a(More)
We use fluorescence microscopy to measure the orientation and shape of microtubules-which serve as a model system for semiflexible rods-that are electrophoretically driven. Surprisingly, a bimodal orientation distribution is observed, with microtubules in either parallel or perpendicular orientations to the electric field. The occupancy of these states(More)
We use micrometer-sized fluidic channels to confine and measure electrophoresis of freely suspended individual microtubules. We measure orientation-dependent velocities of microtubules and the electro-osmotic flow mobility in our channels to infer the anisotropic electrophoretic mobility of microtubules under physiological conditions. We discuss the(More)
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