Nanotechnology Enhanced Functional Assays of Actomyosin Motility – Potentials and Challenges

  • A. Månsson
  • I.A. Nicholls
  • P. Omling
  • S. Tågerud
  • L. Montelius
Part of the Lecture Notes in Physics book series (LNP, volume 711)


Muscle contraction occurs as a result of force-producing interactions between the contractile proteins myosin II and actin with the two proteins highly ordered in the filament lattice of the muscle sarcomere. In contrast to this wellordered structure, most in vitro studies are performed with the contractile proteins in a disordered arrangement. Here we first review the existing in vitro motility assays and then consider how they can be improved by the use of nanotechnology. As a basis for such improvement we describe our recent work where we used chemically and topographically patterned surfaces to achieve selective localization of actomyosin motor function to predetermined areas of sub-micrometer dimensions. We also describe guidance and unidirectional actin filament sliding on nanosized tracks and suggest how such tracks can be combined with 1. microfluidics-based rapid solution exchange and 2. application of electromagnetic forces of well-defined orientation, thus simulating the lifting of a weight by actomyosin. As a related issue we discuss the usefulness of nanotechnology based assay systems for miniaturized highthroughput drug screening systems with molecular motors as drug targets. Finally, we consider the potentials and challenges in using nanotechnology to reconstruct the most essential aspects of cellular order within the muscle sarcomere.


Molecular Motor Myosin Head Motility Assay Myosin Molecule Myosin Motor 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. Månsson
    • 1
  • I.A. Nicholls
    • 1
  • P. Omling
    • 2
  • S. Tågerud
    • 1
  • L. Montelius
    • 2
  1. 1.School of Pure and Applied Natural SciencesUniversity of KalmarKalmarSweden
  2. 2.Division of Solid State Physics and The Nanometer ConsortiumUniversity of LundLundSweden

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