Optomechanical proposal for monitoring microtubule mechanical vibrations
AbstractMicrotubules provide the mechanical force required for chromosome separation during mitosis. However, little is known about the dynamic (high-frequency) mechanical properties of microtubules. Here, we theoretically 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 line width 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 opens the new possibilities to gain information about the physical properties of microtubules, which will enhance our capability to design physical cancer treatment protocols as alternatives to chemotherapeutic drugs.