Mechanical actuators are part of our daily routine, whether in cars, computers and home appliances, they all use electronic mechanisms to work. However, there are drivers in a part that is more vital to us: the human body.
Molecular actuators perform many vital functions for us, such as the ATP molecule, which transports energy from cells. Despite this, reproducing these molecular drivers at the nanoscale and function presents an enormous challenge to science.
Scientists at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have created a molecular electric motor, or nanodrive, using the DNA origami method. The genetic material apparatus collects and converts electrical energy into self-kinetic energy.
The origami method was created in 2006 by researcher Paul Rothemond and consists of using several single DNA strands that serve as the basis for additional DNA strands that are linked together as counterparts. The DNA sequences are chosen so that the attached strands and folds create the desired structures.