Nanotechnology Now





Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button


DHgate

Home > Press > Molecular Robots On the Rise

Researchers have created and observed a molecular robot capable of many steps, and of making decisions where to step and how long to stay. As the robot walks on the substrate, it changes each piece by cleaving off a part. If it touches a spot that has been cleaved already, it does not linger as long. The end of the track glows red and captures the robot, letting the researchers know when it has completed its walk. The robot glows green, allowing for the researchers to see it better. Credit: Zina Deretsky, National Science Foundation
Researchers have created and observed a molecular robot capable of many steps, and of making decisions where to step and how long to stay. As the robot walks on the substrate, it changes each piece by cleaving off a part. If it touches a spot that has been cleaved already, it does not linger as long. The end of the track glows red and captures the robot, letting the researchers know when it has completed its walk. The robot glows green, allowing for the researchers to see it better. Credit: Zina Deretsky, National Science Foundation

Abstract:
Researchers announce new breakthrough in developing molecules that behave like robots

Molecular Robots On the Rise

Posted on May 13th, 2010

Researchers from Columbia University, Arizona State University, the University of Michigan and the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) have created and programmed robots the size of single molecule that can move independently across a nano-scale track. This development, outlined in the May 13 edition of the journal Nature, marks an important advancement in the nascent fields of molecular computing and robotics, and could someday lead to molecular robots that can fix individual cells or assemble nanotechnology products.

The project was led by Milan N. Stojanovic, a faculty member in the division of experimental therapeutics at Columbia University, who partnered with Erik Winfree, associate professor of computer science at Caltech, Hao Yan, professor of chemistry and biochemistry at Arizona State University and an expert in DNA nanotechnology, and with Nils G. Walter, professor of chemistry and director of the Single Molecule Analysis in Real-Time (SMART) Center at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. Their work was supported in part by the National Science Foundation.

The word ‘robot' makes most people think of solid machines that use computer circuitry to perform defined jobs, such as vacuuming a carpet or welding together automobiles. In recent years, scientists have worked to create robots that could also reliably perform useful tasks, but at a molecular level. This is, needless to say, not a simple endeavor, and it involves reprogramming DNA molecules to perform in specific ways. "Can you instruct a biomolecule to move and function in a certain way--researchers at the interface of computer science, chemistry, biology and engineering are attempting to do just that," says Mitra Basu, a program director at NSF responsible for the agency's support to this research.

Recent molecular robotics work has produced so-called DNA walkers, or strings of reprogrammed DNA with 'legs' that enabled them to briefly walk. Now this research team has shown these molecular robotic spiders can in fact move autonomously through a specially-created, two-dimensional landscape. The spiders acted in rudimentary robotic ways, showing they are capable of starting motion, walking for awhile, turning, and stopping.

In addition to be incredibly small--about 4 nanometers in diameter--the walkers are also move slowly, covering 100 nanometers in times ranging 30 minutes to a full hour by taking approximately 100 steps. This is a significant improvement over previous DNA walkers that were capable of only about three steps.

While the field of molecular robotics is still emerging, it is possible that these tiny creations may someday have important medical applications. "This work one day may lead to effective control of chronic diseases such as diabetes or cancer," Basu says.

According to Stojanovich, these practical applications are still many years off, but he and his colleagues hope to continue their work in to the foundations of this young field. Stojanovich believes that their future work will also require extensive collaborations, with each of them bringing a specific expertise to the table, as was the case in the research published today. "If you take anyone of us with our disciplinary expertise out of this," Stojanovic said in an interview "this paper would have collapsed and never be what it is now."

View a video interview with Milan Stojanovich of Columbia University at
www.nsf.gov/news/news_videos.jsp?org=NSF&cntn_id=116957&media_id=66849

####

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Media Contacts
Dana W. Cruikshank
NSF
(703) 292-7738


Kathy Svitil
Caltech
(626) 395-8022


Alex Lyda
Columbia Unviersity
(212) 305-0820

Nancy Ross-Flanigan
University of Michigan
(734) 647-1853

Joe Caspermeyer
Arizona State University
(480) 965-8383

Copyright © National Science Foundation

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related News Press

News and information

Conversion of Greenhouse Gases to Syngas in Presence of Nanocatalysts in Iran May 22nd, 2015

New Antibacterial Wound Dressing in Iran Can Display Replacement Time May 22nd, 2015

Haydale Named Lead Sponsor for Cambridge Graphene Festival May 22nd, 2015

Simulations predict flat liquid May 21st, 2015

Researchers develop new way to manufacture nanofibers May 21st, 2015

Videos/Movies

Researchers develop new way to manufacture nanofibers May 21st, 2015

Artificial photosynthesis: New, stable photocathode with great potential May 12th, 2015

Precision Automation Actuator Features Closed-Loop Force and Position Control May 7th, 2015

Govt.-Legislation/Regulation/Funding/Policy

Nanotherapy effective in mice with multiple myeloma May 21st, 2015

Turn that defect upside down: Twin boundaries in lithium-ion batteries May 21st, 2015

INSIDDE: Uncovering the real history of art using a graphene scanner May 21st, 2015

SUNY Poly CNSE and NIOSH Launch Federal Nano Health and Safety Consortium: May 20th, 2015

Possible Futures

Simulations predict flat liquid May 21st, 2015

Nature inspires first artificial molecular pump: Simple design mimics pumping mechanism of life-sustaining proteins found in living cells May 19th, 2015

NNCO and Museum of Science Fiction to Collaborate on Nanotechnology and 3D Printing Panels at Awesome Con May 19th, 2015

Quantum 'gruyères' for spintronics of the future: Topological insulators become a little less 'elusive' May 12th, 2015

Academic/Education

SUNY Poly CNSE and NIOSH Launch Federal Nano Health and Safety Consortium: May 20th, 2015

New JEOL E-Beam Lithography System to Enhance Quantum NanoFab Capabilities May 6th, 2015

FEI Partners With the George Washington University to Equip New Science & Engineering Hall: Suite of new high-performance microscopes will be used for cutting-edge experiments at GW’s new research facility April 29th, 2015

Renishaw Raman systems used to study 2D materials at Boston University, Massachusetts, USA. April 28th, 2015

Molecular Machines

UCLA nanoscientists are first to model atomic structures of three bacterial nanomachines: Cryo electron microscope enables scientists to explore the frontiers of targeted antibiotics April 21st, 2015

Advances in molecular electronics: Lights on -- molecule on: Researchers from Dresden and Konstanz succeed in light-controlled molecule switching April 20th, 2015

Designer's toolkit for dynamic DNA nanomachines: Arm-waving nanorobot signals new flexibility in DNA origami March 27th, 2015

Tiny bio-robot is a germ suited-up with graphene quantum dots March 24th, 2015

Nanomedicine

New Antibacterial Wound Dressing in Iran Can Display Replacement Time May 22nd, 2015

Researchers develop new way to manufacture nanofibers May 21st, 2015

Effective Nano-Micelles Designed in Iran to Treat Cancer May 20th, 2015

Nature inspires first artificial molecular pump: Simple design mimics pumping mechanism of life-sustaining proteins found in living cells May 19th, 2015

Announcements

Conversion of Greenhouse Gases to Syngas in Presence of Nanocatalysts in Iran May 22nd, 2015

New Antibacterial Wound Dressing in Iran Can Display Replacement Time May 22nd, 2015

Haydale Named Lead Sponsor for Cambridge Graphene Festival May 22nd, 2015

INSIDDE: Uncovering the real history of art using a graphene scanner May 21st, 2015

Nanobiotechnology

Supercomputer unlocks secrets of plant cells to pave the way for more resilient crops: IBM partners with University of Melbourne and UQ May 21st, 2015

Researchers develop new way to manufacture nanofibers May 21st, 2015

Nature inspires first artificial molecular pump: Simple design mimics pumping mechanism of life-sustaining proteins found in living cells May 19th, 2015

Studying dynamics of ion channels May 18th, 2015

Research partnerships

Supercomputer unlocks secrets of plant cells to pave the way for more resilient crops: IBM partners with University of Melbourne and UQ May 21st, 2015

Taking control of light emission: Researchers find a way of tuning light waves by pairing 2 exotic 2-D materials May 20th, 2015

Efficiency record for black silicon solar cells jumps to 22.1 percent: Aalto University's researchers improved their previous record by over 3 absolute percents in cooperation with Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya May 18th, 2015

Organic nanoparticles, more lethal to tumors: Carbon-based nanoparticles could be used to sensitize cancerous tumors to proton radiotherapy and induce more focused destruction of cancer cells, a new study shows May 18th, 2015

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE




  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoTech-Transfer
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More










ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project