Researchers from Cockrell School of Engineering at the University of Texas, Austin have devised the world’s smallest, fastest and longest running synthetic motor. The motor has a speed of 18,000 rpm (speed of a jet engine’s motor) as compared to current tiny motors’ speed of 14 – 500 rpm.
The team’s motor is a three part nanomotor which can rapidly mix and pump biochemicals and move through liquids. It rotates for 15 continuous hours and converts electrical energy into mechanical motion on a scale 500 times smaller than a grain of salt and fits inside a human cell. The team is aiming at the larger area of nanoelectromechanical systems (NEMS) which focuses on developing miniature machines that are more energy efficient and cheap.
The nanomotor was tested as a drug delivery system by coating its surface with biochemicals. It was observed that the faster the motor rotated the faster it released the drugs. Researchers aim to better this delivery system by developing new mechanical controls and chemical sensing after testing the nanomotor on a live cell.