A molecular robotic arm synthesized from small synthetic organic molecules uses cyclic changes in pH and other reaction conditions to grab and release a cargo molecule, and swing the cargo back and forth between the two ends of the molecular platform.
Archive for the 'Artificial Molecular Machines' Category
German researchers have used scaffolded DNA origami to adjust the angle of a DNA hinge joint by altering the length of special “adjuster helices”, causing molecules attached to the sides of the hinge to be displaced by as little as 0.04 nm.
Each time a laser pulse actuates the cis-trans isomerization of a single carbon-carbon double bond, a single-molecule nanosubmarine made of 244 atoms is driven forward 9 nm against Brownian diffusion.
Independent rotation of two wheels attached to either end of an axle has been achieved in a light-driven artificial molecular motor, suggesting a basis for a nanometer-scale transport system.
DNA nanotechnology produces an artificial molecular machine that changes shape when it encounters a specific antibody or other protein molecule, and emits light to signal the target’s presence.
Designing a small DNA origami that can fold in several almost equivalent ways demonstrates how understanding and guiding the folding pathway can improve the efficiency of the folding process, potentially leading in more complex situations to higher yields of the desired nanostructure and fewer misfolded structures.
An extensive review of artificial molecular machines, their large-amplitude motions, and the changes these motions produce, emphasizes small molecules and the central role of chemistry in their design and operation.
Simple molecular switches based upon bistable mechanically interlocked molecules can be incorporated within pre-assembled metal organic frameworks and addressed electrochemically.
A review of molecular parts that act as switches, motors, and ratchets illuminates similarities between artificial and biological molecular machines and argues that useful applications are coming.
A pliers-shaped molecule in which two covalently linked naphthalene moieties serve as the hinge connecting the two halves of the pliers, and each naphthalene connects the hydrophobic handle with the hydrophilic jaw of that half, opens and closes in response to surprisingly little energy applied to a molecular monolayer.
Modeling DNA strand displacement cascades according to three simple rules can in principle mimic the temporal dynamics of any other chemical system, presenting a method to model regulatory networks even more complicated than those of biology.
Functional ribosomes with subunits engineered to not separate at the completion of each protein translation cycle make possible engineering systems to make a variety of novel polymers with novel properties.
At the 2013 Conference Joseph Puglisi described how single molecule fluorescence techniques were used to study changes in the conformation and composition of the ribosome, a large biomolecular nanomachine, during the process of translation of genetic information.
A molecular ring shuttles back and forth between two positions on a molecular axle held rigidly inside a solid state molecular lattice made from a metal organic framework.
At the 2013 Conference George Church presented an overview of his work in developing applications of atomically precise nanotechnology intended for commercialization, from data storage to medical nanorobots to genomic sequencing to genomic engineering to mapping individual neuronal functioning in whole brains.
Programmed assembly and disassembly of rigid 3D DNA origami objects has been achieved by designing complementary surface shapes based upon weak stacking interactions to create simple nanomachines.
A rotaxane-based single molecule pump combines cycling oxidation-reduction potential of the solution with kinetic barriers to moving backward to concentrate small ring molecules against an energy gradient.
At the 2013 Conference Dean Astumian contrasted macroscopic machines at static equilibrium and molecular machines at dynamic equilibrium, and presented information ratchets and microscopic reversibility as the organizing principle of molecular machines.
RNA origami brings new dimensions to nucleic acid nanotechnology by exploiting the much greater variety of RNA structural motifs (compared to DNA) to do what cannot easily be done with DNA origami, like fold into predetermined nanostructures rapidly while being transcribed.
A commentary over at Gizmodo argues that ideas about molecular manufacturing that sounded like science fiction in 1986 now sound more like science fact.