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Issue 12, 2009
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Active transport of oil droplets along oriented microtubules by kinesin molecular motors

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Abstract

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 molecules. This work provides a novel method for handling only a few molecules/particles encapsulated inside the oil droplets and represents a key finding for the integration of kinesin-based active transport into nanoscale lab-on-a-chip devices. We also investigate the effect of the diameter of the droplets on the motility properties of the kinesin motors. The velocity is approximately constant irrespective of the diameter of the droplets whereas we highlight a strong increase of the run length when the diameter of the droplets increases. We correlate these results with the number of kinesin motors involved in the transport process and find an excellent agreement between our experimental result and a theoretical model.

Graphical abstract: Active transport of oil droplets along oriented microtubules by kinesin molecular motors

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Publication details

The article was received on 15 Dec 2008, accepted on 20 Feb 2009 and first published on 17 Mar 2009


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/B822519B
Lab Chip, 2009,9, 1694-1700

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    Active transport of oil droplets along oriented microtubules by kinesin molecular motors

    C. Bottier, J. Fattaccioli, M. C. Tarhan, R. Yokokawa, F. O. Morin, B. Kim, D. Collard and H. Fujita, Lab Chip, 2009, 9, 1694
    DOI: 10.1039/B822519B

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