Microtubule Patterning and Manipulation Using Electrophoresis and Self-Assembled Monolayers
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We developed new methods for controlling and studying microtubules (MTs) outside the complex workings of the living cell. Several surface treatments for preventing MT fouling on surfaces were analyzed and, for the first time, a self-assembled monolayer (SAM) was developed which prevented MT adsorption in the absence of passivating proteins. The morphology and thickness of the SAM was measured to determine the mechanism of formation and origin of the MT-resistant behavior. The SAM was integrated into electron beam lithography for patterning and manipulating MTs using electrophoresis. Reversible MT adsorption and patterning and alignment of single MTs were achieved. We characterized the mechanism for the MT migration under electric field with a focus on the electrodynamics of the flow cell and the forces acting on the MT, along with the time dependence of the process.
Noel, John (2009). Microtubule Patterning and Manipulation Using Electrophoresis and Self-Assembled Monolayers. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from