2007 NSTI Nanotechnology Conference and Trade Show - Nanotech 2007 - 10th Annual

Dynamic self-assembly of circular nanocomposite structures via molecular motor-driven active transport

H. Liu, E.D. Spoerke, S.J. Koch, B.C. Bunker and G.D. Bachand
Sandia National Laboratories, US

Keywords:
self-assembly, motor, quantum dots, transport

Abstract:
Dynamic self-assembly has now been widely employed for the mesoscopic patterning of nanostructure assemblies, offering a route for assembling molecular nanostructures into functional larger ensembles that can autonomously respond to the external stimuli. In the present work, an active self-assembly process powered by biomolecular motor proteins facilitates the formation of dynamic, dissipative structures consisting of microtubules and nanoscale materials such as nanocrystal quantum dots (nQD) and metal particles. The microtubules were self-assembled into closed circles, a few microns in diameter, on kinesin-immobilized glass surface through streptavidin and biotin linkage. The multiple linkages in these structures form in a Velcro-zipping fashion, in which the elastic strain built in the circular structure is counteracted by the strong streptavidin-biotin non-covalent bonds. Streptavidin conjugate concentration and microtubule biotinylation level were systematically controlled and evaluated to understand the factors driving phase separation, and the overall collective self-assembly behavior. The nQD-streptavidin concentration among all variables studied turns out to be the most significant factor affecting motor-based transport for microtubule circle formation. The kinetics of the active assembly process was also determined in this study, and demonstrates the dynamic nature of this self-assembly process.

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