A Molecular Motor that Links the Biological and Silicon Worlds

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The EcoR124I restriction endonuclease is also a biological molecular motor. It is able to attach to DNA at a specific location and then translocate the rest of the DNA molecule through the bound complex. Therefore, the motor acts as a nano-actuator and is able to move objects attached to the end of the DNA toward the bound motor. Single-molecule studies of the translocation have been carried out and used to determine the ability of the motor to move a magnetic bead in a magnetic tweezer setup. In addition, AFM has been used to show DNA translocation and these studies have identified the mechanism that allows initiation of translocation. These results will be presented along with potential uses for the motor in a range of devices. The potential of the motor lies in the adaptability of the motor and the ability to design a simple device for detecting movement of the bead. Such a device will link biological systems (through the motor’s fuel – ATP) to a silicon-based switch, which could operate a wide range of devices.

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Journal: TechConnect Briefs
Volume: 1, Technical Proceedings of the 2004 NSTI Nanotechnology Conference and Trade Show, Volume 1
Published: March 7, 2004
Pages: 106 - 109
Industry sector: Medical & Biotech
Topic: Biomaterials
ISBN: 0-9728422-7-6