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Methods Cell Biol. 2014;120:39-51. doi: 10.1016/B978-0-12-417136-7.00003-3.

Micropatterning microtubules.

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Department of Molecular and Cellular Physiology, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA 94305, USA.


The following protocol describes a method to control the orientation and polarity of polymerizing microtubules (MTs). Reconstitution of specific geometries of dynamic MT networks is achieved using a ultraviolet (UV) micropatterning technique in combination with stabilized MT microseeds. The process is described in three main parts. First, the surface is passivated to avoid the non-specific absorption of proteins, using different polyethylene glycol (PEG)-based surface treatment. Second, specific adhesive surfaces (the micropatterns) are imprinted through a photomask using deep UVs. Lastly, MT microseeds are adhered to the micropatterns followed by MT polymerization.


Asters; Micropatterning; Microtubule antiparallel organization; Microtubule microseeds; Microtubule parallel organization; Microtubules; PLL-PEG; Silane-PEG; Surface passivation

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