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Single Molecule Investigations Aided by Microfluidics and Controlled Nano Positioning

Actin filaments were assembled dielectrophoretically in the gap between two electrodes. The dielectrophoretic forces align the filaments perpendicular to the electrodes’ edges.

Haim H. Bau in collaboration with Yale Goldman and Henry Shuman

Global objectives and specific goals of the project: Delineate the mechanics of molecular motors. Develop micro / nano fluidic devices and nano-positioning methods for single molecule investigations. Utilize molecular motors as actuators in nano-fluidic systems.

Scientific strategy, approach and uniqueness We are developing microfluidic systems that utilize minute quantities of proteins and that allow for rapid mixing to measure the tilt angle of the light chain domain (LCD) of Myosin V and I motors in response to ADP binding and to study the polymerization of myosin II striated muscle thick filaments.

Conclusion and impact The use of dielectrophoretic forces to position filaments and microtubules has been demonstrated. Microfluidic devices allow for rapid mixing and reduce protein consumption.

Liu, H., and Bau, H. H., 2004, Physics of Fluids 16, 1217-1228.
Riegelman, M., Liu, H., and Bau, H. H., 2006, to appear in Trans ASME, J. Fluid Engineering.



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