Hot paper: microtubule assembly at an air–buffer interface

The in vitro application of the self-organisation process of ‘active self-organisation (AcSO)’, in which a steady state non-equilibrium structure is maintained by a constant supply of energy, is attracting more and more attention in the production of complex structures on various scales. In this hot paper, featured on the front cover of issue 42 of Soft Matter, Kakugo, Gong et al. report the assembly process of microtubules at an air-buffer interface. Using the AcSO method in the presence of ATP resulted in ring-shaped structures. The team introduce an air–buffer interface control system, which combined with the inert chamber system, shows direct in situ observation of the assembly processes.

Formation of ring-shaped assembly of microtubules with a narrow size distribution at an air–buffer interface
Soft Matter, 2012, 8, 10863.  DOI: 10.1039/c2sm26441b
(free to read for a short time)

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