While our knowledge on synthesizing nanostructures at the molecular level is progressing at a fast pace since the remarkable achievement of buckyballs and carbon nanotubes, our current understanding on how to interface and assemble parts from different materials is still limited. The GOLEM concept is to propose an approach based on bio-inspired events to assemble parts at the micro-/nano- scale. The objective is to mimic methods used by nature to interface organic and non-organic material (for example abalone shellfish provide a template for the crystallization of calcite into hard shell) and also, molecular recognition properties like antibodies/antigens, proteins receptors/ligands interaction or DNA hybridisation to uniquely define mating pairs between nano-objects to assemble.
The assembly process in itself is assisted or partially assisted by way of swarm micro-robots, fluidic systems (to direct a flow of parts) or through laser-trapping techniques. The GOLEM science and technology objectives are:
- To understand and investigate the bio-inspired bindings suitable for non-organic materials.
- To characterize the assembly process at the micro-/nano- scale (geometry, bonding forces, repeatability, etc.) using dedicated tools.
- To develop too ls and methods to selectively functionalised surfaces on which bio-molecules are attached to.
- To implement a demonstration of assembled device using bio-inspired bonds. GOLEM will contribute at exploring the frontiers of knowledge by a systematic investigation of bio-inspired events as a "smart-glue" to bond non-organic material.
GOLEM will also support long-term innovation by providing specifically developed micro-robotic instruments and methods to investigate nano- and micro- assembly that will be made to the European Research Community.
- FP6-NMP - Nanotechnologies and nanosciences, knowledge-based multifunctional materials and new production processes and devices: thematic priority 3 under the 'Focusing and integrating community research' of the 'Integrating and strengthening the European Research Area' specific programme 2002-2006.
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