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February 1st, 2008
Dutch scientists have made nanotubes move using enzyme-powered motors.
Ben Feringa and co-workers from the University of Groningen, The Netherlands, have designed engines for nanomachines that could potentially be used in the body.
Hydrogen peroxide has proven useful as a chemical fuel for powering microscopic motors but its practicality is somewhat limited by its inherent reactivity, said Feringa. To get around this problem the team have used two enzymes in tandem as the engine for their nanomachine. They explained that by coupling glucose oxidase with catalase, relatively stable glucose can be used as the primary fuel instead. 'This fuel is already present in the body,' said team-member Wesley Browne, 'and it is completely inert.'
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