Scientists from the Oxford University and Warwick University have created the world’s first nano–train network, which self–assembles to constructits own network of tracks spanning a few micrometres in length to transport cargo (compounds). This nano–train network is powered by nano–scale motors and is controlled by DNA.
Scientists were influenced by the melanophore found in fish through which they control their colour. The network of this protein emerges from a central point such as the spokes of a bicycle. The motor proteins transport the pigment around the network and it is concentrated at the centre, making the cells lighter. Scientists devised a similar system made of DNA and a motor protein named kinesin. The kinesin is powered by ATP (a usable form of chemical energy for muscular activity). ‘Assembler’ nanobots construct the network or tracks with the help of two kinesin proteins whereas one kinesin protein ‘shuttles’ along the tracks to deliver compounds or signals. Scientists chose DNA as it can be programmed to do anything.
Scientists used fluorescent green dyes as cargo to demonstrate the efficiency of this system and showed that the application could be used to transport compounds across the body to speed up chemical reactions.