Microtubule biochemistry in cell-sized volumes

Louis Reese

Volume, and thus the number of particles in a system, is difficult to control at the nanoscale and in biochemical assays. The difficulty to work with small volumes limits our understanding of chemical kinetics inside of cell.

We employ water-in-oil emulsions to generate droplets in various sizes from 5-50 micrometers. Such droplets have been establishes as a versatile tool to study organization of the cytoskeleton.

Limitations of emulsion droplets however include a low optical resolution due to imaging in oils, and thus the inaccessibility of detailed chemical kinetics

Here we develop an assay which overcomes these limitations and allows to perform biochemical assays in small volumes including the possibility of TIRF microscopy.