Molecular machines and motors

Molecular motors, also called molecular machines, are either natural or synthetic molecules that convert chemical energy into mechanical forces and motion. An example of a biological motor is the protein kinesin, which uses the hydrolysis of adenosine triphosphate to move along microtubule filaments.

Latest Research and Reviews

  • Research |

    One-dimensional diffusive binding represents an important mechanism used by nature to facilitate many fundamental biochemical processes. Now, a completely synthetic system with similar capabilities has been constructed. The system was exploited to significantly speed up bimolecular reactions and to catalytically transport molecular cargo in solution and within physically separated compartments.

    • Lifei Zheng
    • , Hui Zhao
    • , Yanxiao Han
    • , Haibin Qian
    • , Lela Vukovic
    • , Jasmin Mecinović
    • , Petr Král
    •  & Wilhelm T. S. Huck
  • Research | | open

    Biological motors which convert energy into mechanical work inspire the fabrication of synthetic motors. Here the authors demonstrate self-assembled colloidal motors which are driven to a range of responses controlled by the feedback between light polarization and deformation of a liquid crystal.

    • Ye Yuan
    • , Ghaneema N. Abuhaimed
    • , Qingkun Liu
    •  & Ivan I. Smalyukh
  • Research | | open

    Micromotors have a range of potential healthcare applications. Here, the authors describe the development of a metal nanoparticle DNA micromotor which can be used to detect human HIV-1 by a change in the motion of the micromotors, monitored by cell phone camera, triggered by binding of HIV-1 RNA.

    • Mohamed Shehata Draz
    • , Kamyar Mehrabi Kochehbyoki
    • , Anish Vasan
    • , Dheerendranath Battalapalli
    • , Aparna Sreeram
    • , Manoj Kumar Kanakasabapathy
    • , Shantanu Kallakuri
    • , Athe Tsibris
    • , Daniel R. Kuritzkes
    •  & Hadi Shafiee
  • Research | | open

    The weak and directional CH-π hydrogen bond has rarely been exploited in the design of supramolecular complexes and molecular machinery. Here, the authors construct a bowl-in-tube complex stabilized solely by concyclic CH-π hydrogen bonds, and show that the guest exhibits single-axis rotational motion despite tight association with the host.

    • Taisuke Matsuno
    • , Masahiro Fujita
    • , Kengo Fukunaga
    • , Sota Sato
    •  & Hiroyuki Isobe
  • Research | | open

    Proton exchange is critical in many applications, such as in conductive proton exchange membranes, but achieving fast proton exchange still remains a challenge. Here the authors report fast proton exchange in a rotaxane based polymer by exploiting thermally triggered translational motion of the mechanically bonded rotaxane.

    • Xiaolin Ge
    • , Yubin He
    • , Xian Liang
    • , Liang Wu
    • , Yuan Zhu
    • , Zhengjin Yang
    • , Min Hu
    •  & Tongwen Xu

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