Control of molecular motor motility in electrical devices

Ramsey, Laurence
Control of molecular motor motility in electrical devices. Doctor of Philosophy thesis, University of Liverpool.

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In the last decade there has been increased interest in the study of molecular motors. Motor proteins in particular have gained a large following due to their high efficiency of force generation and the ability to incorporate the motors into linear device designs. Much of the recent research centres on using these protein systems to transport cargo around the surface of a device. The studies carried out in this thesis aim to investigate the use of molecular motors in lab-on-a-chip devices. Two distinct motor protein systems are used to show the viability of utilising these nanoscale machines as a highly specific and controllable method of transporting molecules around the surface of a lab-on-a-chip device. Improved reaction kinetics and increased detection sensitivity are just two advantages that could be achieved if a motor protein system could be incorporated and appropriately controlled within a device such as an immunoassay or microarray technologies. The first study focuses on the motor protein system Kinesin. This highly processive motor is able to propel microtubules across a surface and has shown promise as an in vitro nanoscale transport system. A novel device design is presented where the motility of microtubules is controlled using the combination of a structured surface and a thermoresponsive polymer. Both topographic confinement of the motility and the creation of localised ‘gates’ are used to show a method for the control and guidance of microtubules. Two further studies use the actin myosin motor protein system. Both concentrate on the manipulation of actin filaments, gliding on immobilised myosin, by DC electrical fields. Motor protein is adsorbed onto several surface chemistries with varying protein adsorption properties. A range of electrical fields are applied to the motility assay and the performance is analysed in terms of the directionality and any changes in the average velocity of filaments on each surface. This enables us to attribute surface properties to particular motility characteristics and hypothesise as to the nature of protein adsorption. The same electrical motility device is used with an alternative method to allow a more detailed study of the effect of surface chemistry on the motility function and the response of the motility after exposure to an electrical field. The movement of actin filaments on myosin motors is accelerated by a DC electrical field. Upon termination of the field the motility is allowed to return to pre-field function and this section of the procedure is analysed together with the data from the previous study to draw conclusions on the protein adsorption properties of each surface. Both chapters are used to draw conclusions on the response of the motor protein system when it is adsorbed on different surface chemistries. The investigations carried out in this thesis are used to show both novel ways of controlling motor protein motility and also to highlight aspects of design that need to be taken into consideration when incorporating motor proteins into lab-on-a-chip devices. The electrical motility device in particular has proved to be a dynamic and inexpensive tool in investigating motor protein motility.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctor of Philosophy)
Additional Information: Date: 2014-04 (completed)
Subjects: ?? TK ??
Divisions: Faculty of Science and Engineering > School of Electrical Engineering, Electronics and Computer Science
Depositing User: Symplectic Admin
Date Deposited: 01 Aug 2014 10:49
Last Modified: 16 Dec 2022 04:42
DOI: 10.17638/00018913
  • Van Zalinge, Harm