Two Chinese scientists in the US have lately developed the first molecular motor made by a singular DNA molecule, a step forward to adoption of nano device.
The molecular motor worked out by Prof.Tan Weihong and assistant researcher Li Jianwei from the Florida University, is a single hybridized DNA molecule. This kind of molecule can be keyed up and relaxed depending on different biological environments.
Experiments show that the molecular motor is very "capable", which can extend and curl up like a worm, so as to transform biological reaction energy into mechanical energy. The research result has been published on the US journal Nano Letters.
Alternating from being keyed up and relaxed, the molecule can do work and move some tiny articles from one place to another, says professor Tan, adding that such a quality could be used to provide an energy source for future's nano device.
DNA is the carrier of genetic material. DNA molecular motor can directly transform biological energy into mechanical energy without using electric power as does for most motors. So theoretically speaking, DNA molecular motor can transport medicine and genes through certain biochemical changes, such as directly transferring medicinal molecule to the cell membrane of cancer cells. What's more, it is more convenient to use single molecular motor than multi-molecular one, and the former is closer to real adoption.
The single DNA molecule can be designed according to different needs, professor Tan pointed out, so as to bestow different functions to motors to be made. These motors can be designed to have various power efficiencies with some for doing heavy work while others for moving articles to somewhere farther away.
(People's Daily May 28, 2002)