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
- Meet the Xenobots, Virtual Creatures Brought to Lifeon April 3, 2020 at 2:22 am
Computer scientists and biologists have teamed up to make a new class of living robotics that challenge the boundary between digital and biological.
- Lockdowns could start to ease in just a monthon March 31, 2020 at 7:27 pm
Australia appears to be flattening the curve with the daily increase in COVID-19 cases dropping to 7.3 per cent, which if it keeps falling could lead to life slowly getting back to normal.
- How long will it last? Signs that coronavirus is slowing down but lockdown to continueon March 31, 2020 at 8:55 am
Infectious disease experts warned Australians should accept that their lives are now changed indefinitely, saying it 'is going to get worse before it gets better'.
- HAPPY HANDYMAN: Dyna Trap Dot made for indoor useon March 16, 2020 at 4:19 am
We were at the National Hardware Show and they had a swarm of people around their booth ... clean an ink stain left on the lid of my washing machine from an advertisement on a plastic sleeve ...
- 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 ...
- Engineering intelligent systems with AIon May 31, 2019 at 9:31 pm
A hub for AI innovations The institute focuses on three key issues in AI research — autonomous and sensing systems, emergent intelligence, and collaborative and swarm intelligence. Specifically ...
- 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 ...
- KL's third wave coffee: The trends and the caféson March 4, 2017 at 12:03 am
Enter the third wave, where we plunge into new, foreign ways with coffee: fancy jargon, the whizzing and whirring of never-before-seen machines ... take the route of molecular gastronomy ...
- Expert Forum With Michio Kakuon March 8, 2015 at 3:22 am
Even if it were possible, how can you shrink DNA, which is molecular? I smell random speculation ... Also, remember that negative matter is the basic ingredient for time machines. Question: In "Seeing ...
- Top 10 Emerging Technologies of 2015on March 4, 2015 at 12:57 pm
Advances in robotics technology are making human–machine collaboration an everyday ... can only be heated and shaped once, after which molecular changes mean they are “cured,” retaining ...
via Bing News