Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New genre of 'intelligent' micro- and nanomotors

Date:
January 30, 2013
Source:
American Chemical Society
Summary:
Enzymes, workhorse molecules of life that underpin almost every biological process, may have a new role as "intelligent" micro- and nanomotors with applications in medicine, engineering and other fields. Single molecules of common enzymes can generate enough force to cause movement in specific directions, new research shows.

Enzymes may work as “intelligent” micro- and nanomotors, like tiny car engines, with applications in medicine, engineering.
Credit: © Gudellaphoto / Fotolia

Enzymes, workhorse molecules of life that underpin almost every biological process, may have a new role as "intelligent" micro- and nanomotors with applications in medicine, engineering and other fields. That's the topic of a report in the Journal of the American Chemical Society, showing that single molecules of common enzymes can generate enough force to cause movement in specific directions.

Related Articles


Peter J. Butler, Ayusman Sen and colleagues point out that enzymes -- proteins that jump-start chemical reactions -- are the basis of natural biological motors essential to life. Scientists long have wondered whether a single enzyme molecule, the smallest machine that could possibly exist, might be able to generate enough force to cause its own movement in a specific direction. "Positive answers to these questions," they explain, "have important implications in areas ranging from biological transport to the design of 'intelligent,' enzyme-powered, autonomous nano- and micromotors, which are expected to find applications in bottom-up assembly of structures, pattern formation, cargo (drug) delivery at specific locations, roving sensors and related functions."

They provide the positive answers in experiments with two common enzymes called catalase and urease. Catalase protects the body from harmful effects of hydrogen peroxide formed naturally in the course of life. Urease, found in many plants, converts urea to ammonia and carbon dioxide. The researchers show that these two enzymes, in the presence of their respective substrate (hydrogen peroxide or urea, which acts as fuel), show movement. More significantly, the movement becomes directional through the imposition of a substrate gradient, a form of chemotaxis. Chemotaxis is what attracts living things toward sources of food. The researchers also show that movement causes chemically interconnected enzymes to be drawn together; a form of predator-prey behavior at the nanoscale.

The authors acknowledge funding from The Pennsylvania State University Materials Research Science and Engineering Center supported by the National Science Foundation.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Chemical Society. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Samudra Sengupta, Krishna K. Dey, Hari S. Muddana, Tristan Tabouillot, Michael E. Ibele, Peter J. Butler, Ayusman Sen. Enzyme Molecules as Nanomotors. Journal of the American Chemical Society, 2013; 135 (4): 1406 DOI: 10.1021/ja3091615

Cite This Page:

American Chemical Society. "New genre of 'intelligent' micro- and nanomotors." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 30 January 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130130121647.htm>.
American Chemical Society. (2013, January 30). New genre of 'intelligent' micro- and nanomotors. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 31, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130130121647.htm
American Chemical Society. "New genre of 'intelligent' micro- and nanomotors." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130130121647.htm (accessed January 31, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Matter & Energy News

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Nanoscale Sensor Could Help Wine Producers and Clinical Scientists

Nanoscale Sensor Could Help Wine Producers and Clinical Scientists

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Jan. 30, 2015) — A nanosensor that mimics the oral effects and sensations of drinking wine has been developed by Danish and Portuguese researchers. Jim Drury saw it in operation. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Tesla 'Insane Mode' Gives Unsuspecting Passengers the Ride of Their Life

Tesla 'Insane Mode' Gives Unsuspecting Passengers the Ride of Their Life

RightThisMinute (Jan. 29, 2015) — If your car has an "Insane Mode" then you know it&apos;s fast. Well, these unsuspecting passengers were in for one insane ride when they hit the button. Tesla cars are awesome. Video provided by RightThisMinute
Powered by NewsLook.com
Now Bill Gates Is 'Concerned' About Artificial Intelligence

Now Bill Gates Is 'Concerned' About Artificial Intelligence

Newsy (Jan. 29, 2015) — Bill Gates joins the list of tech moguls scared of super-intelligent machines. He says more people should be concerned, but why? Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Senate Passes Bill for Keystone XL Pipeline

Senate Passes Bill for Keystone XL Pipeline

AP (Jan. 29, 2015) — The Republican-controlled Senate has passed a bipartisan bill approving construction of the Keystone XL oil pipeline. (Jan. 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins