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Proceedings Paper

Statistical analysis of the motility of nano-objects propelled by molecular motors
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Paper Abstract

Motility assays are the tools of choice for the studies regarding the motility of protein molecular motors in vitro. Despite their wide usage, some simple, but fundamental issues still need to be specifically addressed in order to achieve the best and the most meaningful motility analyses. Several tracking methods used for the study of motility have been compared. By running different statistical analyses, the impact of space versus time resolution was also studied. It has been found that for a space resolution of 80 nm and 145 nm per pixel for kinesin-microtubule and actomyosin assays, respectively, the best time resolution was ~0.9 and ~10 frame per second, respectively. A rough relationship - RatioA and RatioM - between space and time resolutions and velocity for actin filaments and microtubules, respectively, was found. The motility parameters such as velocity, acceleration and deflection angle were statistically analysed in frequency distribution and time domain graphs for both motors assays. One of the aims of these analyses was to study if one or two populations were present in either assay. Particularly for actomyosin assays, electric fields varying from 0 to ~10000 Vm-1 were applied and the previous parameters and the angle between filaments motion and the electric field vector were also statistically analysed. It was observed that this angle was reduced by ~55º with ~5900 Vm-1. The overall behaviour of the motors was discussed bearing in mind both present and previous results and some physio-biological characteristics. Kinesin-microtubule and actomyosin (simple and electric fields) assays were compared. Some new experiments are suggested in order to accomplish a better understanding of these motors and optimise their role in the applications that depend on them.

Paper Details

Date Published: 22 February 2008
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 6865, Nanoscale Imaging, Sensing, and Actuation for Biomedical Applications V, 686506 (22 February 2008); doi: 10.1117/12.759116
Show Author Affiliations
Raquel C. Conceição, The Univ. of Liverpool (United Kingdom)
Univ. Nova de Lisboa (Portugal)
David Bakewell, The Univ. of Liverpool (United Kingdom)
Dan Nicolau, The Univ. of Liverpool (United Kingdom)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6865:
Nanoscale Imaging, Sensing, and Actuation for Biomedical Applications V
Alexander N. Cartwright; Dan V. Nicolau, Editor(s)

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