We present a method for using temperature to tune the flow speeds of kinesin-driven, microtubule-based three-dimensional (3D) active fluids. This method allows for tuning the speeds in situ without the need to manufacture new samples to reach different desired speeds. Moreover, this method enables the dynamic control of speed. Cycling the temperature leads the fluids to flow fast and slow, periodically. This controllability is based on the Arrhenius characteristic of the kinesin-microtubule reaction, demonstrating a controlled mean flow speed range of 4–8 µm/s. The presented method will open the door to the design of microfluidic devices where the flow rates in the channel are locally tunable without the need for a valve.
Bate, T. E., Jarvis, E. J., Varney, M. E., & Wu, K.-T. (2019b). Controlling Flow Speeds of Microtubule-Based 3D Active Fluids Using Temperature. Journal of Visualized Experiments, (153). https://doi.org/10.3791/60484
*denotes a WPI undergraduate student author