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WIREs Nanomed Nanobiotechnol
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Biomolecular motors in nanoscale materials, devices, and systems

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Biomolecular motors are a unique class of intracellular proteins that are fundamental to a considerable number of physiological functions such as DNA replication, organelle trafficking, and cell division. The efficient transformation of chemical energy into useful work by these proteins provides strong motivation for their utilization as nanoscale actuators in ex vivo, meso‐ and macro‐scale hybrid systems. Biomolecular motors involved in cytoskeletal transport are quite attractive models within this context due to their ability to direct the transport of nano‐/micro‐scale objects at rates significantly greater than diffusion, and in the absence of bulk fluid flow. As in living organisms, biomolecular motors involved in cytoskeletal transport (i.e., kinesin, dynein, and myosin) function outside of their native environment to dissipatively self‐assemble biological, biomimetic, and hybrid nanostructures that exhibit nonequilibrium behaviors such as self‐healing. These systems also provide nanofluidic transport function in hybrid nanodevices where target analytes are actively captured, sorted, and transported for autonomous sensing and analytical applications. Moving forward, the implementation of biomolecular motors will continue to enable a wide range of unique functionalities that are presently limited to living systems, and support the development of nanoscale systems for addressing critical engineering challenges. This article is categorized under: Diagnostic Tools > Biosensing Diagnostic Tools > Diagnostic Nanodevices Nanotechnology Approaches to Biology > Nanoscale Systems in Biology

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Artistic representation of the structures of (a) myosin II and (b) kinesin‐1 biomolecular motors.
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Multiplexed capture and bidirectional transport of two different analytes using kinesin and dynein motors moving along arrays of MT tracks. (Reprinted with permission from Ref . Copyright 2013 American Chemical Society)
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Example of a sandwich‐based approach for analyte capture, labeling, and detection using kinesin‐directed transport of MTs in a micro‐patterned device. (Reprinted with permission from Ref . Copyright 2009 Nature Publishing)
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(a, b) Active steering of kinesin‐transported MTs may be achieved using heat from gold electrodes to control the phase transition of the thermo‐responsive polymer PNIPAM, which in turn regulates access to kinesin motors in the different paths. (c) Trajectory traces of MTs moving through a junction based on the conformation of PNIPAM at this intersection. (Reprinted with permission from Ref . Copyright 2013 American Chemical Society)
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(a) Fluorescence photomicrograph of a lipid network extracted from kinesin motor‐functionalized vesicles as they move along surface‐adhered MTs (not visible). Scale bar = 10 µm. (Reprinted with permission from Ref . Copyright 2003 National Academy of Sciences, USA) (b) Fluorescence photomicrograph showing a highly bifurcate lipid nanotube network (red) formed by the transport of MTs by surface‐adsorbed kinesin motors. Scale bar = 25 µm.
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Proposed mechanism for the biomolecular motor‐driven self‐assembly of nanocomposite rings consisting of biotinylated MT filaments and streptavidin‐coated nanoparticles. (Reprinted with permission from Ref . Copyright 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.)
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(a) Schematic representation of motor‐driven, self‐assembled MT bundles. (b) Fluorescence photomicrographs of MTs bundles exhibiting wave‐like beating patterns that are similar to that observed for isolated axonemes. (Reprinted with permission from Ref . Copyright 2011 AAAS)
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Self‐assembly of complex MT structures based on the interactions between MTs and multimeric complexes of two different kinesin motor proteins. (Reprinted with permission from Ref . Copyright 2001 AAAS)
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Schematic representation of the inverted (gliding) motility assays in which kinesin motors are adsorbed to a substrate, and support the transport of MT filaments across a surface. MTs, in turn, may be functionalized with receptors to enable the attachment and transport of both biotic and abiotic cargoes.
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Diagnostic Tools > Diagnostic Nanodevices
Diagnostic Tools > Biosensing
Nanotechnology Approaches to Biology > Nanoscale Systems in Biology

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