Physics & Astronomy ETDs


Roger Maloney

Publication Date



This dissertation explores how the kinesin-1 and microtubule system is affected by surface passivation and water isotopes. Surface passivation was found to affect the gliding speed that microtubules exhibit in the gliding motility assay and the lengths of microtubules supported by the passivation. It was also found that gliding speeds of microtubules were very sensitive to temperature changes. Studies changing the water isotope were a first attempt to investigate if changing the solvent changed the osmotic pressure of the solution kinesin and microtubules were in. No osmotic pressure changes were observed, however, the experiments using different isotopes of water did illuminate the possibility that kinesin may be sensitive to viscosity changes in the solvent. This experiment also suggests further experiments that can be specifically designed to probe osmotic pressure changes. This thesis was also the first thesis ever, to the best of the author's knowledge, to be done in a completely open format. All information and notebook entries that are related to it, as well as the thesis itself, can be found on the website OpenWetWare. The thesis can also be found there including all the different versions that went into its editing. The philosophy and process of making data open and accessible to every one is also discussed.

Degree Name


Level of Degree


Department Name

Physics & Astronomy

First Committee Member (Chair)

Dunlap, David

Second Committee Member

Atlas, Susan

Third Committee Member

Lidke, Keith

Project Sponsors

Defense Threat Reduction Agency Basic Research Program under Grant No. HDTRA1-09-1-008. Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship on Integrating Nanotechnology with Cell Biology and Neuroscience, National Science Foundation Grant DGE-0549500.




Kinesin, Microtubules, Cell motility.

Document Type