Document Detail

Bacterial ratchet motors.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  20457936     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Self-propelling bacteria are a nanotechnology dream. These unicellular organisms are not just capable of living and reproducing, but they can swim very efficiently, sense the environment, and look for food, all packaged in a body measuring a few microns. Before such perfect machines can be artificially assembled, researchers are beginning to explore new ways to harness bacteria as propelling units for microdevices. Proposed strategies require the careful task of aligning and binding bacterial cells on synthetic surfaces in order to have them work cooperatively. Here we show that asymmetric environments can produce a spontaneous and unidirectional rotation of nanofabricated objects immersed in an active bacterial bath. The propulsion mechanism is provided by the self-assembly of motile Escherichia coli cells along the rotor boundaries. Our results highlight the technological implications of active matter's ability to overcome the restrictions imposed by the second law of thermodynamics on equilibrium passive fluids.
R Di Leonardo; L Angelani; D Dell'arciprete; G Ruocco; V Iebba; S Schippa; M P Conte; F Mecarini; F De Angelis; E Di Fabrizio
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't     Date:  2010-05-10
Journal Detail:
Title:  Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America     Volume:  107     ISSN:  1091-6490     ISO Abbreviation:  Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A.     Publication Date:  2010 May 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2010-05-26     Completed Date:  2010-06-29     Revised Date:  2013-05-29    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  7505876     Medline TA:  Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  9541-5     Citation Subset:  IM    
Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche-Istituto per i Processi Chimico-Fisici, c/o Università di Roma Sapienza, I-00185, Rome, Italy.
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MeSH Terms
Escherichia coli / physiology*,  ultrastructure
Microscopy, Electron, Scanning

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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