Flexural rigidity of a single microtubule

Toru Takasone, Saulius Juodkazis, Yuji Kawagishi, Akira Yamaguchi, Shigeki Matsuo, Hitoshi Sakakibara, Haruto Nakayama, Hiroaki Misawa

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62 Citations (Scopus)


Microtubules, which are flexible biopolymers, can be used for nanotechnology applications (e.g., nano-actuator) as they have a rigidity similar to that of plexyglass and other plastic materials. The flexural rigidity, or bending stiffness, of nucrotubules was measured using a laser trapping technique and dark-field microscopy. One end of a microtubule rod was chemically bound to a glass microsphere, while the other end was bound to a silica glass substrate. Then, the microsphere was lasertrapped and manipulated to exert three different deformation modes on the microtubule. The values of flexural rigidity for these deformations were between 10-25 and 10-23 Nm2 as measured for the 5-25 μm length microtubules. The origin of the length dependence of the flexural rigidity of microtubules is discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3015-3019
Number of pages5
JournalJapanese Journal of Applied Physics, Part 1: Regular Papers and Short Notes and Review Papers
Issue number5 A
Publication statusPublished - 2002 May


  • Flexural rigidity
  • Laser manipulation
  • Laser trapping
  • Laser tweezers
  • Microtubule-associated proteins
  • Radiation force

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

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    Takasone, T., Juodkazis, S., Kawagishi, Y., Yamaguchi, A., Matsuo, S., Sakakibara, H., Nakayama, H., & Misawa, H. (2002). Flexural rigidity of a single microtubule. Japanese Journal of Applied Physics, Part 1: Regular Papers and Short Notes and Review Papers, 41(5 A), 3015-3019. https://doi.org/10.1143/jjap.41.3015