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Molecular Motors Powered by Proteins

Posted Jan 19 2011 7:00pm

Description of Invention:
The technology available for licensing and commercial development relates to molecular motors powered by proteins. Some implementations describe a molecular motor in which multiple concentric cylinders or nested cones rotate around a common longitudinal axis. Opposing complementary surfaces of the cylinders or cones are coated with complementary motor protein pairs, such as actin and myosin. The actin and myosin interact with one another in the presence of ATP to rotate the cylinders or cones relative to one another, and this rotational energy is harnessed to produce work. Speed of movement is controlled by the concentration of ATP and the number of nested cylinders or cones. The length of the cylinders or cones can also be used to control the power generated by the motor.

Another configuration forms the motor out of a set of stacked disks, much like CDs on a spindle. The advantage of this form is extreme simplicity of construction compared to the nested cylinders or cones. In yet another configuration, which has aspects of both of the previous forms, the surfaces are broken into annular rings in order to overcome that the inner surfaces rotate at a different rate than the outer surfaces. This belt form may ultimately be used in molecular manufacturing.

  • Supplying power to prosthetic implants and other medical devices without external power sources.
  • Many other applications that could use a motor in other biotechnological areas, in addition to the medical applications.
  • The inventions can be implemented on either a microscopic or macroscopic scale.

Development Status:
Very early stage of development.

Thomas D Schneider (NCI)
IIya G Lyakhov (GOVERNMENT of the United States of America)

Patent Status:
HHS, Reference No. E-018-1999/0
PCT, Application No. PCT/US00/20925 filed 31 Jul 2000 granted Application AU 2002/18688 B2, and the corresponding European and Canadian applications being prosecuted
US, , Patent No. 7,349,834, Issued 25 Mar 2008
US, Application No. 12/011,239 filed 24 Jan 2008

Relevant Publication:
  1. “Molecular Motor”, Patent Publication No. WO 2001/009181 A1, published 02/08/2001. [ View publication ]
  2. "Molecular Motor", Patent Publication No. CA 2380611A1, published 02/08/2001 [ View publication ]
  3. “Molecular Motor”, Patent Publication No. AU 6616600A, published 02/19/2001
  4. “Molecular Motor”, Patent Publication No. EP 1204680A1, published 05/15/2002 [ View publication ]
  5. “Molecular Motor”, Patent Publication No. U.S. 20020083710, published 07/04/2002 [ View publication ]

Licensing Status:
Available for licensing.

Collaborative Research Opportunity:
The National Cancer Institute, Center for Cancer Research Nanobiology Program is seeking statements of capability or interest from parties interested in collaborative research to further develop, evaluate, or commercialize the Molecular Rotation Engine. Please contact John D. Hewes, Ph.D. at 301-435-3121 or for more information.

Devices/Instrumentation - Diagnostics
Devices/Instrumentation - Therapeutics

For Licensing Information Please Contact:
Susan Ano Ph.D.
NIH Office of Technology Transfer
6011 Executive Blvd. Suite 325,
Rockville, MD 20852
United States
Phone: 301-435-5515
Fax: 301-402-0220

Ref No: 360

Updated: 01/2011

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