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News

New nano-valve can start and stop a molecular flow repeatedly

National Science Foundation : 19 July, 2005  (Company News)
Chemists at UCLA have created the first reversible nano-valve: a molecular machine that they can open and close like a faucet whenever they want. Among the many potential applications are nanoscale drug delivery systems that could release pharmaceuticals at very precise points within the body, or even within a single cell.
Chemists at UCLA have created the first reversible nano-valve: a molecular machine that they can open and close like a faucet whenever they want. Among the many potential applications are nanoscale drug delivery systems that could release pharmaceuticals at very precise points within the body, or even within a single cell.

UCLA chemist Jeffrey Zink and his colleagues based their valve on rotaxane: a molecule that will switch back and forth from one stable configuration to another depending on its chemical environment. They collaborated with a team led by Fraser Stoddart, director of the California NanoSystems Institute at UCLA, who has already shown how these switchable rotaxanes can be used in molecular electronics.

The development of the new valve was supported by a Nanotechnology Interdisciplinary Research Team Grant from the National Science Foundation. Zink, Stoddart and their coworkers published their results in the July 8, 2005, online edition of The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, and in the July 19, 2005, print edition of that journal.
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