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A Synthetic Molecule that can Walk down a Track!


Nature’s conversion of chemical energy into directed molecular motion has inspired the design of many synthetic molecular architectures aimed at performing function on the molecular scale. Synthesis of small molecule analogues of these much more intricate biological systems may allow man to model the efficiency, and possibly develop processes that parallel the effectiveness of energy transfer in natural systems. The proposed research outlines the synthesis and operation of a synthetic “walker” and “track” conjugate, which is designed to result in synthetic molecular processive motion induced by appropriate stimuli, much like that of Kinesin and Dynein which are linear motor proteins (driven by ATP hydrolysis) that engage in processive motion intracellularly . Organic synthesis of the components and self-assembly of the conjugates by transition metal coordination chemistry will gain us access to the desired synthetic targets. Invoking stimuli responsive molecular movement of the “molecular walker” component along the “molecular track” component will be achieved by exploiting the ligand-coordinate bond with various acid/base and oxidation/reduction states, while progress of the “walker” moving along the “track” will be monitored by NMR, MS, UV-Vis, and FRET.

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Old College, South Bridge
EH8 9YL Edinburgh
United Kingdom
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
EU contribution
€ 178 874,06
Administrative Contact
Angela Noble (Ms.)