Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors

Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

Home > Press > Tiny nanomachine successfully completes test drive: Researchers at the University of Bonn and the research institute Caesar build a one-wheeled vehicle out of DNA rings

The two rings are linked like a chain and can well be recognized. At the centre there is the T7 RNA Polymerase.
CREDIT
(c) Julián Valero
The two rings are linked like a chain and can well be recognized. At the centre there is the T7 RNA Polymerase. CREDIT (c) Julián Valero

Abstract:
Together with colleagues from the USA, scientists from the University of Bonn and the research institute Caesar in Bonn have used nanostructures to construct a tiny machine that constitutes a rotatory motor and can move in a specific direction. The researchers used circular structures from DNA. The results will now be presented in the journal Nature Nanotechnology.

Tiny nanomachine successfully completes test drive: Researchers at the University of Bonn and the research institute Caesar build a one-wheeled vehicle out of DNA rings

Bonn, Germany | Posted on April 11th, 2018

Nanomachines include structures of complex proteins and nucleic acids that are powered with chemical energy and can perform directed movements. The principle is known from nature: Bacteria, for example, propel themselves forward using a flagellum. The team of the University of Bonn, the research institute Caesar in Bonn and the University of Michigan (USA) used structures made of DNA nanorings. The two rings are linked like a chain. "One ring fulfills the function of a wheel, the other drives it like an engine with the help of chemical energy", explains Prof. Dr. Michael Famulok from the Life & Medical Sciences (LIMES) Institute of the University of Bonn.

The tiny vehicle measures only about 30 nanometers (millionths of a millimeter). The "fuel" is provided by the protein "T7 RNA polymerase". Coupled to the ring that serves as an engine, this enzyme synthesizes an RNA strand based on the DNA sequence and uses the chemical energy released during this process for the rotational movement of the DNA ring. "As the rotation progresses, the RNA strand grows like a thread from the RNA polymerase", reports lead author Dr. Julián Valero from Famulok's team. The researchers are using this ever-expanding RNA thread, which basically protrudes from the engine as a waste product, to keep the tiny vehicle on its course by using markings on a DNA-nanotube track.

Length of the test drive is 240 nanometers

Attached to this thread, the unicycle machine covered about 240 nanometers on its test drive. "That was a first go", says Famulok. "The track can be extended as desired." In the next step the researchers are not only aiming at expanding the length of the route, but also plan more complex challenges on the test track. At built-in junctions, the nanomachine should decide which way to go. "We can use our methods to predetermine which turn the machine should take", says Valero with a view towards the future.

Of course, the scientists cannot watch the tiny vehicle at work with the naked eye. By using an atomic force microscope that scanned the surface structure of the nanomachine, the scientists were able to visualize the interlocked DNA rings. In addition, the team used fluorescent markers to show that the "wheel" of the machine was actually turning. Fluorescent "waymarkers" along the nanotube path lit up as soon as the nano-unicycle passed them. Based thereupon, the speed of the vehicle could also be calculated: One turn of the wheel took about ten minutes. That's not very fast, but nevertheless a big step for the researchers. "Moving the nanomachine in the desired direction is not trivial", says Famulok.

The components of the machine assemble by self-organisation

Of course, unlike macroscopic machines, the nanomachine was not assembled with a welding torch or wrench. The construction is based on the principle of self-organization. As in living cells, the desired structures arise spontaneously when the corresponding components are made available. "It works like an imaginary puzzle", explains Famulok. Each puzzle piece is designed to interact with very specific partners. If you bring together exactly these partners in a single vessel, each particle will find its partner and the desired structure is automatically created.

By now, scientists worldwide have developed numerous nanomachines and nanoengines. But the method developed by Famulok's team is a completely novel principle. "This is a big step: It is not easy to reliably design and realize such a thing on a nanometer scale", says the scientist. His team wants to develop even more complex nanoengine systems soon. "This is basic research", says Famulok. "It is not possible to see exactly where it will lead." With some imagination, possible applications could for instance include molecular computers that perform logical operations based on molecular movements. Additionally, tiny machines could transport drugs through the bloodstream precisely to where they are required. "But these are still visions of the future", says Famulok.

####

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Prof. Dr. Michael Famulok

49-228-731-787

Copyright © University of Bonn

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 Links

Publication: Julián Valero, Nibedita Pal, Soma Dhakal, Nils G. Walter and Michael Famulok: A bio-hybrid DNA rotor-stator nanoengine that moves along predefined tracks, Nature Nanotechnology, DOI: 10.1038/s41565-018-0109-z:

Related News Press

News and information

Scientists produce 3D chemical maps of single bacteria: Researchers at NSLS-II used ultrabright x-rays to generate 3-D nanoscale maps of a single bacteria's chemical composition with unparalleled spatial resolution November 16th, 2018

Bosch provides customized IoT and Industry 4.0 solutions: Bosch Mondeville and Bosch Connected Devices and Solutions collaborate to meet a wide variety of customer requirements November 16th, 2018

GaN Rising: UC Santa Barbara electrical and computer engineering professor Umesh Mishra to deliver 63rd Annual Faculty Research Lecture November 16th, 2018

Nanometrics Completes Acquisition of 4D Technology Corporation: The addition of Dynamic Interferometry® expands process control technology solutions November 16th, 2018

Possible Futures

Scientists produce 3D chemical maps of single bacteria: Researchers at NSLS-II used ultrabright x-rays to generate 3-D nanoscale maps of a single bacteria's chemical composition with unparalleled spatial resolution November 16th, 2018

GaN Rising: UC Santa Barbara electrical and computer engineering professor Umesh Mishra to deliver 63rd Annual Faculty Research Lecture November 16th, 2018

'Smart skin' simplifies spotting strain in structures: Rice U. invention can use fluorescing carbon nanotubes to reveal stress in aircraft, structures November 15th, 2018

Epoxy compound gets a graphene bump: Rice scientists combine graphene foam, epoxy into tough, conductive composite November 14th, 2018

Molecular Machines

How to mass produce cell-sized robots: Technique from MIT could lead to tiny, self-powered devices for environmental, industrial, or medical monitoring October 24th, 2018

How swarms of nanomachines could improve the efficiency of any machine September 28th, 2018

UT engineers develop first method for controlling nanomotors: Breakthrough for nanotechnology as UT engineers develop first method for switching the mechanical motion of nanomotors September 21st, 2018

Measuring the nanoworld September 4th, 2018

Molecular Nanotechnology

How to mass produce cell-sized robots: Technique from MIT could lead to tiny, self-powered devices for environmental, industrial, or medical monitoring October 24th, 2018

How swarms of nanomachines could improve the efficiency of any machine September 28th, 2018

UT engineers develop first method for controlling nanomotors: Breakthrough for nanotechnology as UT engineers develop first method for switching the mechanical motion of nanomotors September 21st, 2018

Measuring the nanoworld September 4th, 2018

Self Assembly

High-performance self-assembled catalyst for SOFC October 12th, 2018

New bio-inspired dynamic materials transform themselves: Highly dynamic synthetic superstructure provides new clues on brain, spinal cord injuries and neurological disease October 5th, 2018

DNA drives design principles for lighter, thinner optical displays: Lighter gold nanoparticles could replace thicker, heavier layered polymers used in displays’ back-reflectors June 27th, 2018

Collaboration yields discovery of 12-sided silica cages June 20th, 2018

Nanomedicine

Scientists produce 3D chemical maps of single bacteria: Researchers at NSLS-II used ultrabright x-rays to generate 3-D nanoscale maps of a single bacteria's chemical composition with unparalleled spatial resolution November 16th, 2018

Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals Presents Late-Breaking Clinical Data on ARO-AAT at Liver Meeting® 2018 November 9th, 2018

Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals Presents Late-Breaking Preliminary Clinical Data on ARO-HBV at Liver Meeting® 2018 November 9th, 2018

WSU researchers develop new technique to understand biology at the nanoscale November 7th, 2018

Discoveries

Scientists produce 3D chemical maps of single bacteria: Researchers at NSLS-II used ultrabright x-rays to generate 3-D nanoscale maps of a single bacteria's chemical composition with unparalleled spatial resolution November 16th, 2018

'Smart skin' simplifies spotting strain in structures: Rice U. invention can use fluorescing carbon nanotubes to reveal stress in aircraft, structures November 15th, 2018

Epoxy compound gets a graphene bump: Rice scientists combine graphene foam, epoxy into tough, conductive composite November 14th, 2018

Optimization of alloy materials: Diffusion processes in nano particles decoded November 13th, 2018

Announcements

Scientists produce 3D chemical maps of single bacteria: Researchers at NSLS-II used ultrabright x-rays to generate 3-D nanoscale maps of a single bacteria's chemical composition with unparalleled spatial resolution November 16th, 2018

Bosch provides customized IoT and Industry 4.0 solutions: Bosch Mondeville and Bosch Connected Devices and Solutions collaborate to meet a wide variety of customer requirements November 16th, 2018

GaN Rising: UC Santa Barbara electrical and computer engineering professor Umesh Mishra to deliver 63rd Annual Faculty Research Lecture November 16th, 2018

Nanometrics Completes Acquisition of 4D Technology Corporation: The addition of Dynamic Interferometry® expands process control technology solutions November 16th, 2018

Interviews/Book Reviews/Essays/Reports/Podcasts/Journals/White papers

Scientists produce 3D chemical maps of single bacteria: Researchers at NSLS-II used ultrabright x-rays to generate 3-D nanoscale maps of a single bacteria's chemical composition with unparalleled spatial resolution November 16th, 2018

'Smart skin' simplifies spotting strain in structures: Rice U. invention can use fluorescing carbon nanotubes to reveal stress in aircraft, structures November 15th, 2018

Epoxy compound gets a graphene bump: Rice scientists combine graphene foam, epoxy into tough, conductive composite November 14th, 2018

Optimization of alloy materials: Diffusion processes in nano particles decoded November 13th, 2018

Nanobiotechnology

Scientists produce 3D chemical maps of single bacteria: Researchers at NSLS-II used ultrabright x-rays to generate 3-D nanoscale maps of a single bacteria's chemical composition with unparalleled spatial resolution November 16th, 2018

Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals Presents Late-Breaking Clinical Data on ARO-AAT at Liver Meeting® 2018 November 9th, 2018

Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals Presents Late-Breaking Preliminary Clinical Data on ARO-HBV at Liver Meeting® 2018 November 9th, 2018

WSU researchers develop new technique to understand biology at the nanoscale November 7th, 2018

Research partnerships

Epoxy compound gets a graphene bump: Rice scientists combine graphene foam, epoxy into tough, conductive composite November 14th, 2018

The National Graphene Association Is Excited To Announce A New Affiliate Partnership With Graphene Engineering Innovation Centre (GEIC) November 7th, 2018

2-D magnetism: Atom-thick platforms for energy, information and computing research: Scientists say the tiny 'spins' of electrons show potential to one day support next-generation innovations in many fields October 31st, 2018

Tiny light detectors work like gecko ears October 30th, 2018

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



  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More











ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project