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Paper   IPM / Physic / 14653
School of Physics
  Title:   Monitoring Microtubule Vibrations via Optomechanical Coupling
1.  S. Barzanjeh
2.  V. Salari
3.  J. Tuszynski
4.  M. Cifra
5.  C. Simon
  Status:   Published
  Journal: Phys. Rev. E
  Vol.:  96
  Year:  2017
  Pages:   012404
  Supported by:  IPM
The possible disruption of a microtubule during mitosis can control the duplication of a cancer cell. Cancer detection and treatment may be possible based on the detection and control of microtubule mechanical oscillations in cells through external fields (e.g. electromagnetic or ultrasound). However, little is known about the dynamic (high-frequency) mechanical properties of microtubules. Here we propose to control the vibrations of a doubly clamped microtubule by tip electrodes and to detect its motion via the optomechanical coupling between the vibrational modes of the microtubule and an optical cavity. In the presence of a red-detuned strong pump laser, this coupling leads to optomechanical induced transparency of an optical probe field, which can be detected with state-of the art technology. The center frequency and linewidth of the transparency peak give the resonance frequency and damping rate of the microtubule respectively, while the height of the peak reveals information about the microtubule-cavity field coupling. Our method should yield new knowledge about the physical properties of microtubules, which will enhance our capability to design physical cancer treatment protocols as alternatives to chemotherapeutic drugs.

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