Date of Graduation
Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources
Lane Department of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering
One of the many interesting materials that have emerged in the field of nanotechnology in the last quarter century is Carbon Nanotube (CNT). CNTs have been explored in a broad range of fields from electronic devices and biosensors, to bioimaging and tissue engineering. However, as stand-alone materials CNTs have limited capabilities in the field of biology and medicine unless they are combined with biological agents. Due to the similarity in diameters, CNTs can be combined with biomolecules such as enzymes, antibodies, antigens, DNA, etc. These "hybrid" assemblies will combine the properties of the CNTs with the recognition characteristics and functions of the biomolecules.;In our work we utilize one such biomolecule -- actin, which is present in almost all eukaryotic cells and serves as scaffold for molecular motor myosin. The results of the research indicate that actin monomers (G-actins) were able to attach to Multi-Walled Carbon Nanotubes (MWCNTs). The MWCNTs exhibited close to full coverage by the Gactin proteins. Moreover, the G-actins remained functional and were able to polymerize into actin filaments (F-actin) onto the MWCNT scaffolds. Furthermore, the functionality of actin filaments on the surface of the MWCNTs was also investigated. The CNT-Factin hybrid assemblies showed limited movement in synthetic environment. This may be partially due to the inability of the myosin motors to recognize the polarity of the actin filaments, or due to steric hindrance and orientation of actin-based hybrids. The results of our work indicate that these hybrid assemblies can be useful for future biosensor applications with the protein acting as an agent for specific detection.
Ronaghi, Zahra, "From Cellular Transport to Synthetic Biomimetic Transport using Carbon Nanotube - Actin Hybrid Assemblies" (2013). Graduate Theses, Dissertations, and Problem Reports. 4997.