Nanotechnology

Nanomachine-Definition and Applications

Introduction

A nanomachine is smaller than 1 micrometer. Its size is in the nano range. A single human blood cell is about 5 micrometers in size. The machines are so small that they cannot be seen with the naked eye when they move. However, some are visible with the aid of an electron microscope.

An example of nanomachines are bacteria which can be viewed using a transmission electron microscope. In this microscope, a beam of electrons is transmitted through the specimen to form an image.

Nanomachines are used in applications in medicine, biology, and engineering. A few examples include lacerating cancer cells, disrupting harmful bacteria, and performing chemical reactions.

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Nanomachines and their Applications

Nanotechnology is still underdeveloped, and its applications are not fully known. Researchers work on them constantly. Below is a brief overview of some applications that have been developed recently.

Applications of a Nanomachine in Medicine

Image: Nanomachines inside the body
  • Nanomachines have been used in medicine to treat diseases. They have been used to do drug delivery into the human body. Scientists have tried to make nanoparticles that can be injected into the human body. In this way, the particles will increase the efficacy of the drugs that are administered.
  • Researchers are also trying to create nanomachines that can deliver radioactively labeled drugs to cancer cells. When that is accomplished, doctors will be able to find the exact location of the tumor. They will administer drugs that will destroy cancer cells without attacking healthy tissues in the body.
  • If a nanomachine can identify and destroy diseased cells, this will be a major medical breakthrough. It will mean that it can be used to treat many serious illnesses.

Nanomachine Technology in Biology

Nanomachines play an important role in biology. They can be used to control human cells and tissues. Nanotechnology is a very young field. Many scientists do not know what benefits it will bring to humanity in the future. However, many believe that nanotechnology will revolutionize science and medicine.

  • As of 2015, nanotechnology was being used in the study of proteins. Scientists have constructed small structures made out of protein molecules. These structures hold great promise.
  • Nanomachines will be used as models to design drugs that can fight infections and diseases, such as AIDS, cancer, and hepatitis.
  • Another application of nanotechnology in biology is the creation of artificial red blood cells. These are needed because real ones carry oxygen to all parts of the body. The artificial red blood cells will deliver drugs to specific areas of the body.
  • Nanotechnology will also increase the efficacy of drugs given to cancer patients, patients with heart problems, and patients infected with HIV.
  • To create artificial red blood cells, researchers will use computers to design them. Once the design is done, they will produce them using nanotechnology.

DNA Nanomachines

DNA nanomachines are very small machines that can be used to manipulate DNA. This manipulation is done by using an enzyme called recombinase.

These machines consist of two parts. One part is a strand of DNA that has been designed to bind with another sequence in the DNA. The other part is a protein that has been designed to bind with enzymes called recombinase.

The DNA nanomachines can be used to turn genes on and off. This process is called genetic regulation.

Genetic regulation refers to the production of a specific protein from DNA with the help of enzymes and DNA nanomachines. The DNA of the human body then produces this protein.

These DNA nanomachines can also be used for gene therapy, where a technique is used to mend genes. It can be used to treat genetic diseases and conditions.

Types of DNA Nanomachines

There are three types of DNA nanomachines, namely clocked Walkers, molecular motors, and molecular switches.

Clocked walkers

Clocked walkers are DNA nanomachines that are used to carry surface patches. These patches are important for the adhesion of cells. They are used to maintain the cells intact. The patches are made out of DNA and can be recognized by specific proteins in the human body.

An example of these machines has three-stranded DNA anchors. DNA strands connect these anchors. When these anchors come in contact with a cell, special enzymes recognize them and start to manipulate the cell’s DNA.

This manipulation begins with the repair of DNA damage that is done by repairing enzymes. The manipulation ends with the formation of two loops of DNA.

Molecular motors

These are nanomachines that can be used to manipulate molecules and cells in a test tube. They are used to form specific shapes. The presence of metal ions can control their movement. For example, when they are placed near a gold surface, they move in a specific direction.

Molecular motors are also used to transport molecules and other nanomachines from one place to another. This movement involves the transfer of cargo from one place to another inside the cytoplasm.

A specific example of these machines has four forms of hybridization. These are the B-form, Z-form, H-bonded, and R-form. The B-form is the most common form of hybridization that occurs in DNA.

Molecular switches
Image: Metal detection in biological samples

These machines can be used to form a specific structure by using chemists that are present in cells. This structure will form a “lock” for other tiny machines, activating the cell in question to produce more of the tiny machines. These tiny machines are called transcription factors.

These nanomachines can also be used to detect the presence of metals in biological samples. When they come in contact with a metal, a specific structure is formed. This formation causes the transcription factor to stop functioning and therefore stop activating the cell.

The nanomachines can also be used to detect the presence of various chemicals in cells. They bind together when they come in contact with these chemicals. This causes the transcription factors to stop functioning and therefore stop activating the cell.

A specific example of these machines has a closed structure. It is made out of DNA, and it can be used to fold itself inside smaller spaces, such as in cells. The folding is important because it causes the cells to reduce in size. DNA nanomachines can be used to bind with specific DNA sequences. They can bind with two different sequences at the same time.

These DNA nanomachines are formed by a strand of DNA that has been split in two. They are connected by a DNA strand that has been formed into a hairpin shape. This hairpin loop is placed between the two DNA strands. This machine can produce rotational movement from DNA by changing how its strands twist.

Cloning DNA nanomachines

DNA Nanomachines can be cloned by using the same loop-extrusion cloning mechanism that is used to clone plasmids. This process involves the insertion of DNA into bacteria using the bacteriophage T7.

Inserted DNA is placed in a plasmid or vector. This vector is then inserted into the bacteria, along with the primer, to amplify it. DNA Nanomachines are then made by using the same process.

How do DNA Nanomachines work?

Image: Nanotubes

DNA nanomachines are a collection of DNA sequences mixed to form a complex machine. These machines work by using chemical reactions.

They undergo the process of self-assembly. This self-assembly process is done by the nanomachines, which means that they can change their structure based on a specific set of conditions

Nanomachines in Engineering

Nanomachines could be used to develop a new type of electronics. This process can be done by using nanotubes, which have a specific structure. They can be used to make tiny wires for these electronics to run on, which would result in a much more dense design for computers and other electronics.

These nanomachines could also be used to develop a new type of computer architecture. This process would involve using customized DNA nanomachines to perform specific tasks. Some of these tasks would include creating a new type of computer memory or even a new method for processing information.

Nanomachines will make engineering and physics possible by developing something smaller than an atom. Such a development will make it possible to create a new material, which has never existed before in the history of the Earth.

Engineers will use nanomachines to make new nanoscale devices, such as electronics and computers. These machines will allow them to build smaller things than current technology, causing a revolution in the electronics industry.

The Future of Nanomachines

Nanomachines are going to change the world in many different ways, especially as it pertains to medicine. It will be done by using special types of nanomachines to treat diseases.

Nanomachines will deliver medicine directly to the affected area, which means it won’t have to be processed by the rest of the body. Accurate treatment can reduce the damage done by some types of drugs and make them more effective.

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Bottom Line

Nanomachines will have a huge impact in the future, especially in areas such as engineering and medicine. They will change how we think of nanotechnology. They could even lead to a revolution in how we think of electronics and computers as well. These machines will change just about everything that we know.

DNA Nanomachines are also going to be able to make a huge impact on medicine in the future. They will allow doctors to treat diseases in a whole new way, which means many more people will receive the treatment they need. Nanomachines could also lead to a new form of medicine that uses strands from DNA.

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