Inderscience Publishers

Engineering hybrid nano-devices powered by the F1-ATPase biomolecular motor

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Courtesy of Inderscience Publishers

Hybrid nano-devices that encompass organic and inorganic components offer truly unique and flexible functionalities. With integrated biomolecules and active proteins, it is plausible to envision seamless interfacing with nastive biological environments. The ability to incorporate inorganic features not only enables the synthesis of complex systems, it provides a myriad of options in custom tailoring devices to pertinent biomedical applications as well. This is especially true with the advent of more advanced nano-fabrication technologies in recent years. F1-ATPase is a motor protein whose rotary motion has been well characterised [1,2]. The biomolecular motor hydrolyses ATP to generate forces compatible with currently fabricated nano-mechanical structures. We have fabricated and operated a hybrid organic-inorganic nano-device powered by the F1-ATPase biomolecular motor [3–5]. The scope of the hybrid device developments was manifold including the local movement of surrounding suspended particles by functional organic-inorganic devices and in other efforts, the capability of implementing control mechanisms [6]. In addition, a renewable biological fuel (ATP) source has recently been developed through sol–gel encapsulation of proteoliposomes in an effort towards creating a self-sustaining device. The following paper is a review of the knowledge that has transpired upon developing hybrid organic-inorganic nano-devices to hopefully elicit future advancements of bio-nano-systems.

Keywords: hybrid, nanodevices, F1-ATPase, ATP generation, biomolecular motors, ATP synthase, NEMS, nano-fabrication, Zn-switch, DEP, sol-gel

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