Behavior of Kinesin Driven Quantum Dots Trapped in a Microtubule Loop

Aurélien Sikora, Filippo Federici Canova, Kyongwan Kim, Hikaru Nakazawa, Mitsuo Umetsu, Izumi Kumagai, Tadafumi Adschiri, Wonmuk Hwang, Winfried Teizer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


We report the observation of kinesin driven quantum dots (QDs) trapped in a microtubule loop, allowing the investigation of moving QDs for a long time and an unprecedented long distance. The QD conjugates did not depart from our observational field of view, enabling the tracking of specific conjugates for more than 5 min. The unusually long run length and the periodicity caused by the loop track allow comparing and studying the trajectory of the kinesin driven QDs for more than 2 full laps, i.e., about 70 μm, enabling a statistical analysis of interactions of the same kinesin driven object with the same obstacle. The trajectories were extracted and analyzed from kymographs with a newly developed algorithm. Despite dispersion, several repetitive trajectory patterns can be identified. A method evaluating the similarity is introduced allowing a quantitative comparison between the trajectories. The velocity variations appear strongly correlated to the presence of obstacles. We discuss the reasons making this long continuous travel distances on the loop track possible.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11003-11013
Number of pages11
JournalACS Nano
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Nov 24


  • kinesin
  • microtubules
  • molecular transport
  • motor proteins
  • quantum dots


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