Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources


Lane Department of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering

Committee Chair

Parviz Famouri.


Motor proteins and filaments are essential elements in living cells. They are employed in skeletal muscles to generate forces, they transport cargos such as organelles to specific locations in the cells or they reorganize themselves to change a cell's structure. Moreover, motor proteins and filaments use hydrolysis of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) as chemical fuel to generate mechanical movement in their interaction. Understanding the behavior of these enticed nano-sized machines and their properties, yet to be mimicked and synthesized by humans is very important to the future development of transport in nanoscale. Thus far, researchers succeeded in demonstrating the interaction of motor proteins and filaments in in vitro environment and controlling their random movement by various methods such as with the influence of DC electric field, driven flow field and engineered tracks by photolithographic method. In this thesis, dielectrophoretic forces, which are generated under nonuniform electric field by AC, are explored as a candidate to control the direction of biomolecular shuttles, actin filaments which glide on heavy meromyosin coated surface. Under dielectrophoretic forces, actin filaments showed bidirectional movement between embedded electrodes. The orientation and velocity of actin filaments were measured under various AC voltages, frequencies and distances between electrodes. Additionally, the effect of temperature on myosin-actin motility was further investigated and loading cargo on actin filaments was demonstrated by using a streptavidin-biotin binding system.