18 May 2015
Pumped Up Molecules - Using nature's carrier proteins for inspiration, a team of Northwestern University scientists is the first to develop an entirely artificial molecular pump. An article published in Nature Nanotechnology on 18 May 2015 describes the operation of this molecular machine – a small synthetic dumbbell–like molecule that, when fueled with chemical energy, can pump a molecular ring repetitively and progressively uphill. By controlling the attractive and repulsive interactions between the dumbbell and the ring, while also regulating their relative movement within kinetic barriers, two rings can be pumped from solution to become trapped around the dumbbell in a high–energy state. The article is accompanied by a News & Views perspective authored by Steve Goldup at the University of Southampton as well as a highlight in Chemistry World and a News of the Week (25 May 2015) in C&E News.