SFU Royal Society of Canada Seminar Series: "Novel Synthetic Nanomotors that Mimic Biological Motor Properties: A Wonderful Activity for Retired Researchers"

Thursday, March 7, 2013
11:30 - 12:30

Dr. Martin Zuckermann
Department of Physics, SFU


Biological molecular nano-motors are MECHANO-ENZYMES which function by transducing chemical energy, often via the hydrolysis of ATP, to mechanical energy. They are key components of a large number of cellular processes such as cell division, cell motility and intracellular transport. First, I will give a brief summary of the properties of bipedal (biological) stepping motors. Following this, I will concentrate on our research work whose main objective is TO DESIGN, SYNTHESIZE AND MEASURE THE PERFORMANCE OF THE WORLD'S FIRST PROTEIN-BASED MOTORS. By applying this bottom-up approach, we test our understanding of structure-function relationships of actual biological nano-motors. Here we consider the modeling of synthetic molecular motors fabricated from non-motor proteins, peptides and/or DNA. Such motors are conceptually able to move processively on a DNA or protein track with specific binding sites. I will give details of and numerical simulation results for two of the nano-motor constructs designed by members of our international team: the INCHWORM motor and the R2B2 motor and discuss their relation to bipedal nano-motor function.