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Kinetic behavior of microtubules driven by dynein motors - a computational study Open Access


Other title
microtubule joining
protein motors
dynein c
computer simulation
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Chen, Qiang
Supervisor and department
Li, Dongyang (Chemical and Materials Engineering)
Examining committee member and department
Ru, Chong-Qing (Mechanical Engineering)
Uludag, Hasan (Biomedical Engineering)
Tuzzynski, Jack (Physics)
Chen, Daolun (Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, Ryerson University)
Medical Sciences - Biomedical Engineering

Date accepted
Graduation date
Doctor of Philosophy
Degree level
In this work, a general dynamic model was proposed to simulate the dynamic motion of microtubules driven by dynein motors, which is of importance to the design of potential nano-bio machines composed of dynein motors and microtubules. The model was developed based on Newton's law of motion. By incorporating a DPD technique, the general model was applied to simulate the unidirectional motion of microtubule. The functions of dyneins and their coordination with each other, which plays an important role in the motion of microtubules, were studied. By taking into account the bending energy of microtubules, we extended the general model to study possible mechanisms responsible for the microtubule-microtubule and microtubule-wall interactions, which are essential to the design of optimal track patterns for potential nanomachine systems. This study helps to evaluate the influence of bending and rotation on microtubule joining processes, involving bumping force, bending moment and torque generation. Finally, a phenomenal modeling study based on the Monte Carlo method, was conducted to investigate the self-organization of microtubules driven by dynein motors and identify out key parameters that control the self-organized movement of microtubules, giving crucial information for nano device design. This modeling study helps to clarify several important issues regarding the interaction between dynein motors and microtubules as a power transfer medium, which provides important information for the development of potential nanobio-machines using dynein as a biological motor.
License granted by Qiang Chen ( on 2009-07-23T19:49:31Z (GMT): Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. Where the thesis is converted to, or otherwise made available in digital form, the University of Alberta will advise potential users of the thesis of the above terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis, and except as herein provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.
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