Nano-structuring for Molecular Motor Control
The interaction of self-propelled biological molecular-motors and cytoskeletal filaments holds relevance for a variety of applications such as biosensing, drug screening, diagnostics and biocomputation. The use of these systems for lab-on-a-chip biotechnology applications shows potential for replacement of microfluidic flow by active, molecular-motor driven transport of filaments. The ability to control, confine and detect motile objects in such a system is possible by development of nanostructured surfaces for on-chip applications and fundamental studies of molecular-motors. Here we describe the localized detection (Lard et al., Sci Rep 3:1092, 2013) and fast transport of actin filaments by myosin molecular-motors (Lard et al., Biosens Biolectron 48(0):145–152, 2013), inserted within nanostructures, as a method for biocomputation and molecular concentration. These results include extensive myosin driven concentration of actin filaments on a miniaturized detector, of relevance for use of molecular-motors in a diagnostics platform. Also, we discuss the local enhancement of the fluorescence signal of filaments, relevant for use in a biocomputation device where tracking of potentially thousands of motile objects is of primary significance.