Viral Protein Linear (VPL) Nano-Actuators

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The Bio-Nano-Robotics Group at Rutgers is interested in achieving efficient motion/energy conversion through nanoscale mechanical devices made from biomolecules, such as proteins and DNA, in tandem with synthetic devices such as carbon nanotubes. In a way this is energy conversion from chemical to mechanical energy, at the nano scale. We are developing a linear actuator, the Viral Protein Linear (VPL) motor, based on the principle that certain proteins, such as the ones found in the envelope of certain retroviruses, undergo a marked conformational change upon the change of pH of their surroundings. This conformational change when controlled and directed, can be used to create nanoscale robotic mechanisms. VPL motor promises to seamlessly attach to devices such as Carbon Nanotubes to form task oriented complex assemblies.

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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: 110 - 113
Industry sector: Medical & Biotech
Topic: Biomaterials
ISBN: 0-9728422-7-6