Biomimetic Molecules as Building Blocks for Synthetic Muscles – A Proposal

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Biomolecular motors are natures machines that convert chemical energy into mechanical work. The performance and scale of these systems are believed to derive from their precise positioning and alignment into organized hierarchical levels at the nanoscale. The goal of this proposal is to cast the biological properties as the cornerstone for designing wholly artificial motor-molecules to serve as the building blocks for synthetic muscles. At the level of the single molecule, the artificial machines will be constructed from chemically powered motor-molecules with mechanically interlocked components, obtained from the template-directed synthesis that exploits molecular recognition and self-assembly processes, analogous to those employed in nature. On the molecular ensemble level, the motor-molecules will be outfitted with recognition units to facilitate the coherent self-organization onto surfaces to enable the cooperative operation of each motor-molecule in unison with chemical energy to perform mechanical work at the meso scale. These structures could be stacked to form to amplify the contraction. These systems could behave as muscle tissue to serve as a standard module for analogous applications. In the first phase of this work, the synthesis of the motor-molecules for attachment to surfaces is proposed, together with demonstrable nanoscale actuation as the target deliverable.

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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: 114 - 117
Industry sector: Medical & Biotech
Topic: Biomaterials
ISBN: 0-9728422-7-6