Hierarchical self-assembly of actin in micro-confinements using microfluidics

Siddharth Deshpande*, Thomas Pfohl

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

33 Citations (Scopus)


We present a straightforward microfluidics system to achieve step-by-step reaction sequences in a diffusion-controlled manner in quasi two-dimensional micro-confinements. We demonstrate the hierarchical self-organization of actin (actin monomers-entangled networks of filaments-networks of bundles) in a reversible fashion by tuning the Mg2+ ion concentration in the system. We show that actin can form networks of bundles in the presence of Mg2+ without any cross-linking proteins. The properties of these networks are influenced by the confinement geometry. In square microchambers we predominantly find rectangular networks, whereas triangular meshes are predominantly found in circular chambers.

Original languageEnglish
Article number034120
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 13 Sept 2012
Externally publishedYes


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