Nanoscale transport enables active self-assembly of millimeter-scale wires

Ofer Idan, Amy Lam, Jovan Kamcev, John Gonzales, Ashutosh Agarwal, Henry Hess

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Active self-assembly processes exploit an energy source to accelerate the movement of building blocks and intermediate structures and modify their interactions. A model system is the assembly of biotinylated microtubules partially coated with streptavidin into linear bundles as they glide on a surface coated with kinesin motor proteins. By tuning the assembly conditions, microtubule bundles with near millimeter length are created, demonstrating that active self-assembly is beneficial if components are too large for diffusive self-assembly but too small for robotic assembly.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)240-245
Number of pages6
JournalNano Letters
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 11 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Self-assembly
  • active transport
  • biomolecular motor
  • kinesin
  • microtubule
  • nanowire

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanical Engineering


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