Coupled Electro-mechanical Behavior of Microtubules
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n this contribution, the coupled electro-mechanical behavior of the microtubules has been systematically investigated utilizing a continuum-based finite element framework. A three-dimensional computational model of a mi- crotubule has been developed for predicting the electro-elastic response of the microtubule subjected to external forces. The effects of the magnitude and di- rection of the applied forces on the mechanics of microtubule have been evalu- ated. In addition, the effects of variation of microtubule lengths on the electro- elastic response subjected to external forces have also been quantified. The re- sults of numerical simulation suggest that the electro-elastic response of micro- tubule is significantly dependent on both the magnitude and direction of the ap- plied forces. It has been found that the application of shear force results in the attainment of higher displacement and electric potential as compared to the compressive force of the same magnitude. It has been further observed that the output potential is linearly proportional to the predicted displacement and the electric potential within the microtubule. The increase in the length of microtu- bule significantly enhances the predicted piezoelectric potential under the appli- cation of different forces considered in the present study. It is expected that the reported findings would be useful in different avenues of biomedical engineer- ing, such as biocompatible nano-biosensors for health monitoring, drug deliv- ery, noninvasive diagnosis and treatments.