MEMS Biofluidic Device Concept Based on a Supramolecular Motor

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The supramolecular machine, called the nuclear pore complex (NPC), controls the transport of all cellular material between the cytoplasm and the nucleus that occurs naturally in all biological cells. In the presence of appropriate chemical stimuli, the NPC opens or closes, like a gate, and permits the flow of material into, and out of, the nucleus. Given the natural design of the nuclear pore complexes, their motor like function, and their direct engineering relevance to bio-molecular motors technology, our approach is to understand its design and mimic the supramolecular motor in a example of biofluidic device through MEMS. A proof-of-concept based on MEMS fluid pump will be designed and fabricated to demonstrate the applicability of the bio-inspired motor. The inspiration comes from the bio-inspired motor (Nuclear Pore Complex) which acts like a bi-directional pump for specific substances. While the NPC is about 200 nanometers in size, our proof-of-concept will be about 100,000 times larger in size. After fabrication of each MEMS component, process characterization, prototype evaluation and design evaluation will occur to iterate the modeling and simulation aspects of the project. The evaluations of the MEMS component will be done within a test fluid pumping environment.

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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: 118 - 121
Industry sector: Medical & Biotech
Topic: Biomaterials
ISBN: 0-9728422-7-6