Nanopore-powered DNA-based nanomotor
From the windmills to wind turbines, from the water wheels to the steam engines, flow-driven motors have powered the development of human society for thousands of years. What’s the next for the era of nanotechnology? Can we build such motors at the nanoscale? The fantastic world of biology has given us a positive answer. Molecular motors are widely found in different biosystems, e.g. the famous FOF1 ATP synthase motor that produces the fuel for our cells. Their sophisticated structures and functions established the foundations of the dynamics in the cellular world. The question ahead, for us, is how do we learn from them and can we build such nanomotors ourselves.
In this project, we and our collaborators (Dietz group at TU Munich) join forces and combine our expertise in nanofluidics and DNA technology, to design, build and drive a DNA-based biomimetic rotary motor. Much like the intricate and elusive motor proteins in biosystems, these synthetic motors at the nanoscale will shed light on the further understanding of the biological and chemical process on their real-world counterparts, and demonstrate the possibility of controlling the directed rotary motion of nanomachinery by the consumption of a local source of energy at the molecular scale.