Gliding of microtubules (MTs) on kinesins has been applied to lab-on-a-chip devices, which enable autonomous transportation and detection of biomolecules in the field of bioengineering. For rapid fabrication and evaluation of the kinesin–MT based devices, optical control techniques have been developed for control of kinesin activity and density; however, use of caged molecules lacks spatial controllability for long-term experiments, and direct irradiations of UV light onto kinesin-coated surfaces are inherently damaging to MTs due to their depth limit since the heights of the kinesin–MT systems are at the tens of a nanometer scale. Considering surface electric fields in electrolytic solutions are shielded at the nanometer scale due to Debye shielding, in this study, we show that fine spatial control of kinesin density and activity is enabled using surface-limited electrochemical reactions induced by indirect irradiations of an electron beam (EB). An EB is indirectly irradiated onto the kinesins through a 100-nm-thick silicon nitride membrane, and the electrons scattered in the membrane can cause localized electrochemical effects to the kinesins. We show that these localized electrochemical effects cause both ablation of kinesins and motility control of kinesin activity by changing the EB acceleration voltage. In particular, the latter is achieved without complete ablation of MTs, though the MTs are indirectly irradiated by the EB. As a demonstration of on-demand control of gliding MTs, we show the accumulation of the MTs on a target area by scanning the EB. The proposed accumulation technique will lead to rapid prototyping of microdevices based on MT–kinesin motility assay systems.
Surface-limited reactions for spatial control of kinesin–microtubule motility assays using indirect irradiation of an electron beam
Hiroki Miyazako, Ryuzo Kawamura, Takayuki Hoshino; Surface-limited reactions for spatial control of kinesin–microtubule motility assays using indirect irradiation of an electron beam. Biomicrofluidics 1 December 2022; 16 (6): 064105. https://doi.org/10.1063/5.0124921
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