A biopolymer transistor: Electrical amplification by microtubules

Avner Priel, Arnolt J. Ramos, Jack A. Tuszynski, Horacio F. Cantiello

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

108 Scopus citations


Microtubules (MTs) are important cytoskeletal structures engaged in a number of specific cellular activities, including vesicular traffic, cell cyto-architecture and motility, cell division, and information processing within neuronal processes. MTs have also been implicated in higher neuronal functions, including memory and the emergence of "consciousness". How MTs handle and process electrical information, however, is heretofore unknown. Here we show new electrodynamic properties of MTs. Isolated, taxol-stabilized MTs behave as biomolecular transistors capable of amplifying electrical information. Electrical amplification by MTs can lead to the enhancement of dynamic information, and processivity in neurons can be conceptualized as an "ionic-based" transistor, which may affect, among other known functions, neuronal computational capabilities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4639-4643
Number of pages5
JournalBiophysical Journal
Issue number12
StatePublished - Jun 2006
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
A.P. and J.T. acknowledge funding from National Science and Engineering Research Council of Canada, Mathematics of Information Technology and Complex Systems, and Technology Innovations of Rochester, NY.


Dive into the research topics of 'A biopolymer transistor: Electrical amplification by microtubules'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this