Biomod/2012/Columbia/KinesinKings/Overview

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Kinesin Kings Test

Objectives

Explore the effects of the amino acid chain poly-L-lysine on microtubules

Design a micro-mesh of microtubules by utilizing the unique effects of poly-L-lysine


Abstract

The polymerization of tubulin dimers results in the formation of long, hollow, and rigid structures known as microtubules. Current techniques involving microtubules and cargo transport situate the microtubules on a horizontal plane, parallel to a glass surface. We sought to create novel structures of microtubules in synthetic biology. We designed a 3D mesh of microtubules by coating the glass surfaces in a flow cell with the polymer poly-L-lysine. This caused the microtubules to orient themselves orthogonally to the glass surface and to form web-like structures spanning the height of the flow cell. We observed attachment due to electrostatic interactions between the rhodamine-labeled microtubules and the poly-L-lysine coated surfaces almost immediately in the flow cell. The poly-L-lysine in solution is conjectured to have acted as a bridging mechanism between the microtubules that created the observed structures. This new mesh has potential to add to the biosensing field in physical filtration devices.


Kinesin Kings Test

Columbia

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