This study introduces a modeling method for a supermolecular structure of microtubules for the development of a force generation material using motor proteins. 3D imaging by confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM) was used to obtain 3D volume density data. The density data were then interpreted by a set of cylinders with the general-purpose 3D modeling software Blender, and a 3D network structure of microtubules was constructed. Although motor proteins were not visualized experimentally, they were introduced into the model to simulate pulling of the microtubules toward each other to yield shrinking of the network, resulting in contraction of the artificial muscle. From the successful force generation simulation of the obtained model structure of artificial muscle, the modeling method introduced here could be useful in various studies for potential improvements of this contractile molecular system.
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