Motor proteins are able to move protein filaments in vitro. However, useful work cannot be extracted from the existing in vitro systems because filament motions are in random directions on two-dimensional surfaces. We succeeded in restricting kinesin-driven movements of microtubules along linear tracks by using micrometer-scaled grooves lithographically fabricated on glass surfaces. We also accomplished the extraction of unidirectional movement from the bidirectional movements along the linear tracks by adding arrowhead patterns on the tracks. These "rectifiers" enabled us to construct microminiturized circulators in which populations of microtubules rotated in one direction, and to actively transport microtubules between two pools connected by arrowheaded tracks in the fields of micrometer scales.
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