The swarming behavior of about 100 million molecular machines can be controlled by applying simple mechanical stimuli such as extension and contraction. This method could lead to the development of new swarming molecular machines and small energy-saving devices.
The swarming molecules in motion aligned in one direction, exhibited zigzag patterns, or formed a vortex responding to varying mechanical stimuli. They could even self-repair the moving pattern after a disruption, according to a study led by Hokkaido University scientists.
In recent years, many scientists have made efforts to miniaturize machines found in the macroscopic world. The 2016 Nobel laureates in chemistry were awarded for their outstanding research on molecular machines and design and synthesis of nanomachines.
In previous studies, the research team led by Associate Professor Akira Kakugo of Hokkaido University developed molecular machines consisting of motor proteins called kinesins and microtubules, which showed various swarming behaviors. “Swarming is a key concept in modern robotics. It gives molecular machines new properties such as robustness and flexibility that an individual machine cannot have,” says Akira Kakugo. “However, establishing a methodology for controlling swarming behaviors has been a challenge.”
In the current study published in ACS Nano, the team used the same system comprising motor protein kinesins and microtubules, both bioengineered. The kinesins are fixed on an elastomer substrate surface, and the microtubules are self-propelled on the kinesins, powered by the hydrolysis of adenosine triphosphate (ATP).
“Since we know that applying mechanical stress can play a key role in pattern formation for active matters, we investigated how deformation of the elastomer substrate influences the swarming patterns of molecular machines,” says Akira Kakugo.
By extending and contracting the elastomer substrate, mechanical stimulation is applied to about 100 million microtubules that run on the substrate surface. The researchers first found that microtubules form wave patterns when no stress is applied. When the substrate is expanded and contracted 1.3 times or more one time, almost all of the 100 million microtubules perpendicularly aligned to the expansion and contraction axis, and when the substrate is expanded and contracted 1.3 times or less repeatably, it created zigzag patterns placed in diagonal directions.
Their computer simulation suggested that the orientation angles of microtubules correspond to the direction to attain smooth movement without buckling, which is further amplified by the collective migration of the microtubules.
Another important finding was that the moving pattern of microtubules can be modulated by applying new mechanical stimuli and it can be self-repaired even if the microtubule arrangement is disturbed by scratching a part of it.
“Our findings may contribute to the development of new molecular machines that perform collective motion and could also help advance technologies for energy-saving small devices,” Akira Kakugo commented.
This study was conducted in collaboration with scientists at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, Gifu University, and Columbia University.
The Latest on: Swarming molecular machines
via Google News
The Latest on: Swarming molecular machines
- Erie County offering rapid COVID-19 testing to in-person students, school staffon October 1, 2020 at 1:38 pm
Erie County Health Commissioner Dr. Gale Burstein said six 'ID Now' rapid testing machines are now in service ... The ID NOW COVID-19 test is a rapid, molecular point-of-care test that can ...
- Google's Alphabet starts with letter 'L,' for life scienceson September 22, 2020 at 5:00 pm
"It would involve a swarm of nanoparticles, less than one-thousandth of the ... involves collecting comprehensive genetic and molecular information from an initial pool of a couple hundred people, ...
- System Bits: Sept. 18on September 17, 2020 at 5:00 pm
The new tool focuses on the properties of molecular orbital—the electrons around ... and the company Unanimous AI seems to prove that a swarm of doctors can diagnose pneumonia faster than machine ...
- Spectrochimica acta. Part A, Molecular and biomolecular spectroscopyon September 5, 2020 at 5:00 pm
Quinoline appended pillararene (QPA) as Fe3+ sensor and complex of Fe3+ (FeQPA) as a selective sensor for F-, arginine and lysine in the aqueous medium. An effective FRET-based two-photon ...
- Hybrid Harris hawks optimization with cuckoo search for drug design and discovery in chemoinformaticson September 2, 2020 at 2:10 am
The support vector machines (SVMs) are then used by the proposed ... the competitor algorithms including the HHO, CS, particle swarm optimization, moth-flame optimization, grey wolf optimizer ...
- The Rapture of the Nerdson August 24, 2020 at 6:04 am
Those who are unhappy have emigrated, joining one or another of the swarming densethinker clades that fog the inner solar system with a dust of molecular machinery so thick that it obscures the sun.
- Optimization algorithm selection for process applicationson December 19, 2019 at 8:35 am
If, for example, the molecular weight of water of 18 is used ... Trends and associations: The new era of big data and machine learning seeks to identify trends or relations within data using empirical ...
- APS Membership Unit Profile: The Division of Soft Matteron August 28, 2019 at 1:28 pm
These materials tend to be disordered at the molecular scale and homogeneous at the macroscopic ... so-called “extreme mechanics” of very slender objects, to the use of machine learning to study ...
- IEEE Frank Rosenblatt Award Recipientson April 18, 2018 at 5:05 pm
Impacting both the foundational and practical aspects of computational intelligence, Xin Yao’s accomplishments in advancing evolutionary computation and machine learning are ... has helped launch the ...
- Mars, Undergroundon May 25, 2016 at 11:18 am
A lot of NASA’s work has focused on how we look at the molecular constituents of life ... Boston and colleagues have proposed similar “swarm” solutions; theirs involve hundreds of little hopper robots ...
via Bing News