Dutch team uses molecular motors for sorting

Cees Dekker’s team at the Kavli Institute of NanoScience at Delft University of Technology have produced some intriguing work published in Science (400 KB pdf):

Integration of biomolecular motors in nanoengineered structures raises the intriguing possibility of manipulating materials on nanometer scales. We have managed to integrate kinesin motor proteins in closed submicron channels and to realize active electrical control of the direction of individual kinesin-propelled microtubule filaments at Y junctions. Using this technique, we demonstrate molecular sorting of differently labeled microtubules.

There’s also a movie, in which you can see that while the sorting isn’t perfect, it’s pretty good. —Christine

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