This Video won first place in the Physical Science category for the 2013 Andor Insight Awards. http://www.theinsightawards...
Microtubules are a bio-polymer composed of the protein tubulin and are used extensively in the cell for cellular division, cell motility, and transportation of cargo within the cell. Here, we investigate the material properties of mixtures of microtubules, a depletion agent, and the molecular motor Kinesin. The microtubules, driven by Kinesin motors, spontaneously organize into bundles of microtubules that oscillate in a manner reminiscent of flagella and cilia found in biology. This engineered system will allow us to studying systems of self-propelled and self-organized matter that exist far from equilibrium in the field known as Active Matter.
We use standard fluorescent microscopy to image labeled microtubules in a thin, flow cell microscope chamber. An Andor Clara camera was used in conjunction with a Nikon Ti Eclipse microscope to capture this video.