Ryuji Yokokawa

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We demonstrate the active transport of liquid cargos in the form of oil-in-water emulsion droplets loaded on kinesin motor proteins moving along oriented microtubules. We analyze the motility properties of the kinesin motors (velocity and run length) and find that the liquid cargo in the form of oil droplets does not alter the motor function of the kinesin(More)
Artificial nanotransport systems inspired by intracellular transport processes have been investigated for over a decade using the motor protein kinesin and microtubules. However, only unidirectional cargo transport has been achieved for the purpose of nanotransport in a microfluidic system. Here, we demonstrate bidirectional nanotransport by integrating(More)
Despite the benefits of miniaturized devices, handling of tiny amount of molecules became a great challenge. Direct transport, similar to the one in intracellular transport, is a way to cope with the problem of transporting tiny amount of materials. Using motor proteins, i.e. kinesin, and the corresponding rail structures, i.e. microtubules, provides(More)
The field of microfluidics has drastically contributed to downscale the size of benchtop experiments to the dimensions of a chip without compromising results. However, further miniaturization and the ability to directly manipulate individual molecules require a platform that permits organized molecular transport. The motor proteins and microtubules that(More)
The concept of a reconstructed microtubule kinesin-based transport system was originally introduced for studies of underlying biophysical mechanisms of intracellular transport and its potential applications in bioengineering at micro- and nanoscale levels. However, several technically challenging shortcomings prohibit its use in practical applications. One(More)
One of challenges for using microtubules (MTs) driven by kinesin motors in microfluidic environments is to control their direction of movement. Although applying physical biases to rectify MTs is prevalent, it has not been established as a design methodology in conjunction with microfluidic devices. In the future, the methodology is expected to achieve(More)
An alternative method of micro/nano-transport has been achieved by using motor proteins. Microtubules on a kinesin-coated surface have potential to act as a nano-transport system. When microtubules are used as carriers, either cargo or cargo linkers are attached on the microtubule surface. Such cargo attachments can significantly affect kinesin motion. To(More)
Intracellular cargo is transported by multiple motor proteins. Because of the force balance of motors with mixed polarities, cargo moves bidirectionally to achieve biological functions. Here, we propose a microtubule gliding assay for a tug-of-war study of kinesin and dynein. A boundary of the two motor groups is created by photolithographically patterning(More)
We present experiments and theory of a constant flow-driven microfluidic oscillator with widely tunable oscillation periods. This oscillator converts two constant input-flows from a syringe pump into an alternating, periodic output-flow with oscillation periods that can be adjusted to between 0.3 s to 4.1 h by tuning an external membrane capacitor. This(More)
This paper gives an overview of elastomeric valve- and droplet-based microfluidic systems designed to minimize the need of external pressure to control fluid flow. This Concept article introduces the working principle of representative components in these devices along with relevant biochemical applications. This is followed by providing a perspective on(More)