Biomolecular motor proteins that generate forces by consuming chemical energy obtained from ATP hydrolysis play pivotal roles in organizing cytoskeletal structures in living cells. An ability to control cytoskeletal structures would benefit programmable protein patterning; however, our current knowledge is limited because of the underdevelopment of engineering approaches for controlling pattern formation. Here, we demonstrate the controlling of self-assembled patterns of microtubules (MTs) driven by kinesin motors by designing the boundary shape in fabricated microwells. By manipulating the collision angle of gliding MTs defined by the boundary shape, the self-assembly of MTs can be controlled to form protruding bundle and bridge patterns. Corroborated by the theory of self-propelled rods, we further show that the alignment of MTs determines the transition between the assembled patterns, providing a blueprint to reconstruct bridge structures in microchannels. Our findings introduce the tailoring of the self-organization of cytoskeletons and motor proteins for nanotechnological applications.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Materials Science(all)
- Condensed Matter Physics
- Mechanical Engineering