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Biotechnol Bioeng. 2008 Sep 1;101(1):1-8. doi: 10.1002/bit.21874.

Simultaneous and bidirectional transport of kinesin-coated microspheres and dynein-coated microspheres on polarity-oriented microtubules.

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Department of Micro System Technology, Ritsumeikan University, 1-1-1 Noji-Higashi, Kusatsu, Shiga 525-8577, Japan.


Artificial nanotransport systems inspired by intracellular transport processes have been investigated for over a decade using the motor protein kinesin and microtubules. However, only unidirectional cargo transport has been achieved for the purpose of nanotransport in a microfluidic system. Here, we demonstrate bidirectional nanotransport by integrating kinesin and dynein motor proteins. Our molecular system allows microtubule orientation of either polarity in a microfluidic channel to construct a transport track. Each motor protein acts as a nanoactuators that transports microspheres in opposite directions determined by the polarity of the oriented microtubules: kinesin-coated microspheres move toward the plus end of microtubules, whereas dynein-coated microspheres move toward the minus end. We demonstrate both unidirectional and bidirectional transport using kinesin- and dynein-coated microspheres on microtubules oriented and glutaraldehyde-immobilized in a microfluidic channel. Tracking and statistical analysis of microsphere movement demonstrate that 87-98% of microspheres move in the designated direction at a mean velocity of 0.22-0.28 microm/s for kinesin-coated microspheres and 0.34-0.39 microm/s for dynein-coated microspheres. This bidirectional nanotransport goes beyond conventional unidirectional transport to achieve more complex artificial nanotransport in vitro.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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