MICROTUBULE KINESIN ACTIVE FLUID

At Wu Lab we study the dynamics of microtubule kinesin active fluid. Active fluids consume fuel to move by themselves, allowing them to self mix and even self pump.

Microtubules are columnar protein constructs that are in all eukaryotic cells, where they serve as structural elements of the cyto skeleton, as well as railroads for kinesin motors.

Kinesin motors walk along microtubules in 8 nm steps by hydrolyzing adenosine triphosphate.

We add a depletant which forces together microtubules in pairs, between which are clusters of kinesin motors. When these kinesin motors walk on each side, it causes the microtubule pairs to slide apart.

Further depletion of microtubule pairs form bundles, which extend at speeds many times that of pairs. Many of these bundles make up microtubule kinesin active fluid, a self mixing, self pumping active matter.

In this kinesin-microtubule system, we ask miscellaneous fluid-related questions such as how active fluid can create active turbulence to enhance mixing efficiency in low Reynolds number systems where conventional high Reynolds number turbulence is suppressed and how we can regulate the chaotic flow of active fluid to a river-like coherent flow that has potential to create an active fluid-powered machine.