Influence of taxol and CNTs on the stability analysis of protein microtubules

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, Adelaide Medical School, University of Adelaide, Adelaide, Australia

2 Borjavaran Center of Applied Science and Technology, University of Applied Science and Technology, Tehran, Iran


Microtubules are used as targets for anticancer drugs due to their crucial role in the process of mitosis. Recent studies show that carbon nanotubes (CNTs) can be classified as microtubule-stabilizing agents as they interact with protein microtubules (MTs), leading to interference in the mitosis process. CNTs hold a substantial promising application in cancer therapy in conjunction with other cancer treatments such as radiotherapy and chemotherapy. In the current study, a size-dependent model is developed for the stability analysis of CNT-stabilized microtubules under radial and axial loads. A nonlocal shell theory with strain gradient effects is employed to take size influences into account. Moreover, Van der Waals interactions between CNTs and MTs are simulated. An excellent agreement is observed between the present model and reported data from experiments on protein MTs. In addition, the effects of taxol, as another stabilizing agent, on the stability of microtubules are studied. It is found that both nonlocal and strain gradient effects are essential to accurately obtain the stability capacity of MTs. Furthermore, CNTs have an increasing effect on the critical loads of microtubules while the critical loads reduce in the presence of taxol.


Main Subjects

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Volume 50, Issue 1
June 2019
Pages 140-147
  • Receive Date: 12 February 2019
  • Revise Date: 12 March 2019
  • Accept Date: 16 March 2019