Electrical docking of microtubules for kinesin-driven motility in nanostructures

Martin G.L. Van Den Heuvel, Christopher T. Butcher, Serge G. Lemay, Stefan Diez, Cees Dekker*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

52 Citations (Scopus)


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 partial detachment of microtubules from the surface. The surface coverage of microtubules, during both the docking and undocking events, follows an exponential time dependence. We provide a simple kinetic model, incorporating the equilibrium between free and surface-bound microtubules, that explains these data.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)235-241
Number of pages7
JournalNano letters
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2005
Externally publishedYes


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