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Motor transport in bio-nano systems

tal data, both for biomimetic systems and for biological cells. The theory has been extended to more complex systems such as two-way traffic of two motor species that move along the same filament but in opposite directions. The latter system exhibits a genuine phase transition from a low flux to a high flux state. Likewise, regular patterns of filaments have been shown to lead to enhanced motor diffusion along the substrate surface. All of these results have been obtained from a combination of analytical calculations and computer simulations.

These theories can guide the design of new transport systems by exploring different system architectures in a systematic way before they are actually constructed in the lab. The enhanced diffusion of motors at regular patterns of filaments provides an instructive example: When integrated into existing microarrays for DNA and RNA hybridization, these transport systems would act to increase the hybridization rates.

In general, biomimetic systems based on molecular motors and filaments have many potential applications in bionanotechnology, pharmacology, and medicine. During the next couple of years, we may witness the development of sorting devices for biomolecules and biocolloids, drug delivery systems that utilize the motor transport within human cells, and motile components for nanoscale manufacturing. Long term, we should also be able to construct 'smart' biomimetic systems which are able to respond to and 'survive' in a changing environment.

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Original work:

Stefan Klumpp, Theo M. Nieuwenhuizen, and Reinhard Lipowsky
Self-organized density patterns of molecular motors in arrays of cytoskeletal filaments
Biophysical Journal 88, 3118-3132 (2005)

Stefan Klumpp and Reinhard Lipowsky
Phase transitions in systems with two species of molecular motors
Europhysics Letters 66, 90-96 (2004)


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Source:Max-Planck-Gesellschaft


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