Highly sensitive kinesin-microtubule motility assays using SLIM

Mikhail Kandel, Kai Wen Teng, Paul R. Selvin, Gabriel Popescu

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


We provide an experimental demonstration of Spatial Light Interference Microscopy (SLIM) as a tool for measuring the motion of 25 nm tubulin structures without the use of florescence labels. Compared to intensity imaging methods such as phase contrast or DIC, our imaging technique relies on the ratios of images associated with optically introduced phase shifts, thus implicitly removing background illumination. To demonstrate our new found capabilities, we characterize kinesin-based motility continuously over periods of time where fluorescence would typically photobleach. We exploit this new method to compare the motility of microtubules at low ATP concentrations, with and without the tagging proteins formerly required to perform these studies. Our preliminary results show that the tags have a non-negligible effect on the microtubule motility, slowing the process down by more than 10%.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationQuantitative Phase Imaging II
EditorsGabriel Popescu, YongKeun Park
ISBN (Electronic)9781628419528
StatePublished - 2016
Event2nd Conference on Quantitative Phase Imaging, QPI 2016 - San Francisco, United States
Duration: Feb 14 2016Feb 17 2016

Publication series

NameProgress in Biomedical Optics and Imaging - Proceedings of SPIE
ISSN (Print)1605-7422


Other2nd Conference on Quantitative Phase Imaging, QPI 2016
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Francisco

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Biomaterials


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