NewswireToday - /newswire/ -
Honolulu, Hawaii, United States, 2006/09/20 - In the field of Nanotechnology, where inherent risks are the subject of hot debate, developments within the nascent science of biomolecular motors is hailed by scientists to be relatively benign to humans and possibly beneficial to the environment.
Biomolecular motors are currently an area of fundamental research, with working applications years in the future. Biological organisms on the micro and nano scales have always used the mechanism of converting ATP (Adenosine Tri-Phosphate - the universal fuel molecule that powers all cells) into mechanical energy. Therefore an existence proof that this concept could fare very well has existed for millennia. Today's question is: "how to manufacture engineering devices powered by ATP?"
Biomolecular motors are nano sized constructs, which convert chemical energy (ATP) into mechanical work. Possible future applications for this technology include sorting, sensing, energy harvesting, molecular assembly and actuating devices.
"Another application," explained Dr. Anantha Krishnan (Director of Research and Development, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory), "is in vitro devices that would perform functions like sensing (monitoring the status of biological systems) and localized drug delivery."
Prof. Henry Hess (Assistant Professor, Department of Materials Science and Engineering, University of Florida) is funded by DARPA to pursue the development of biomolecular motors for military use. Dr. Hess is currently collaborating with Dr. George Bachand (Sandia National Laboratories) on the development of a biosensor powered by biomolecular motors. This small, disposable biosensor is designed for remote distribution over battlefields in the form of a smart dust.
Read the full article on the Nanowerk website.
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