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Proceedings Paper

DNA molecular motors
Author(s): Friedrich C. Simmel; Bernard Yurke
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Paper Abstract

Due to its simple and predictable molecular recognition chemistry, DNA is a versatile self-assembly molecule. Two strands of DNA most strongly bind together to form a double helix only when their base sequences are complementary. Here we show how this construction rule can be used to induce nanoscale motion. In particular, we have devised two DNA-based molecular motors powered by DNA. Both consist of two double-stranded arms held together at one end by a single-stranded flexible hinge. One motor, referred to as molecular tweezers, has two single-stranded extensions at the ends of the arms, which serve as handles used to pull the tweezers shut. The tweezers are closed when a particular piece of single-stranded DNA, called the fuel strand, hybridizes with the handles. In the other motor, referred to as an actuator, the single-stranded extensions are joined together so that the motor forms a loop-like structure. The fuel strand hybridizing with the actuator pushes the two arms apart. Both motors are returned to their original configuration by a removal strand which binds to a single-stranded overhang of the fuel strand and then removes the fuel strand from the motor strand by the process of branch migration.

Paper Details

Date Published: 14 June 2001
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 4332, Smart Structures and Materials 2001: Industrial and Commercial Applications of Smart Structures Technologies, (14 June 2001); doi: 10.1117/12.429683
Show Author Affiliations
Friedrich C. Simmel, Lucent Technologies/Bell Labs. (United States)
Bernard Yurke, Lucent Technologies/Bell Labs. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4332:
Smart Structures and Materials 2001: Industrial and Commercial Applications of Smart Structures Technologies
Anna-Maria Rivas McGowan, Editor(s)

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