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J Mol Model. 2015 Apr;21(4):85. doi: 10.1007/s00894-015-2637-x. Epub 2015 Mar 13.

Influence of GHz electric fields on the mechanical properties of a microtubule.

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Department of Physics, University of Isfahan, Isfahan, Iran.


The effects of external GHz electric fields on the mechanical properties of a microtubule (MT) have been modeled through the application of a molecular dynamics simulation method. To explore the properties of the MT, two different systems each consisting of a pair of dimers were exposed to an 0.03 V/nm electric field with a frequency ranging between 1 to 10 GHz. It was found that the Young's modulus of each system, which is related to the flexibility of the MT, was lower at some frequencies and higher at others in comparison with normal biological conditions. Hence, the application of such an electric field with a frequency in this range may affect MT function, which could have positive or negative effects on cell health. Positive effects include its potential use in cancer treatment, where the application of such a field could lead to a decrease in MT rigidity, similar to the effect of Taxol on MTs. Negative effects include unwanted changes to the mechanical properties of MTs (e.g., disturbing the cell division process and in turn increasing the risk of cancer) upon the application of such a field.


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