Researchers developed a one-wheeled vehicle out of DNA rings, according to a study conducted on April 9, 2018.
This study was conducted by scientists at the University of Bonn and the research institute Caesar in Bonn. The tiny machine was constructed using nanostructures and it consists of a rotatory motor. Circular structures from DNA were used by the researchers to construct this machine.
Structures of complex proteins and nucleic acid that are powered by chemical energy are included in nanomachines and they can be move in specific directions. Researchers used structures that are made of DNA nanorings. The two rings are linked like a chain where one ring fulfills the function of a wheel and the other one, using chemical energy drives the machine like an engine. 30 nanometers can be measured by this machine and the fuel required for the machine is provided by ‘T7 RNA polymerase’. This enzyme couples with the ring that serves as an engine and an RNA strand based on the DNA is synthesized by the enzyme. The chemical energy released during this process is used for the rotational movement of the ring. The length of the test drive is 240 nanometers.
This vehicle cannot be viewed with the naked eye, as they are nanomachines. An atomic force microscope was used to scan the surface structure of the nanomachine and researchers were able to view the interlocked DNA rings. Furthermore, the actual turning of the wheel was shown using fluorescent markers. By self-organization, the components of the machine will assemble own its own.
Many number of nanomachines and nanoengines have been developed by the scientists across the globe. Prof. Dr. Michael Famulok said, “This is a big step: It is not easy to reliably design and realize such a thing on a nanometer scale.”