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We are a group of scientists and engineers who have joined forces to develop small scale, controllable and autonomous motors and machines that are able to demonstrate intelligence, self propel in fluidic media and perform a variety of intricate tasks without external interventions. The main question our research targets is: How can we manipulate the energy and information at the micron and nano scale to create dynamic systems with enhanced functionalities and efficiencies compared to, and better than, natural bio-molecular motors? By designing swimmers which move due to the interplay of energy transduction and dissipation at the molecular scale, we control their self organization and responses to external force fields; thereby, underscoring the non-equilibrium interaction principles operative at low Reynolds number conditions.
Drawing on expertise from several disciplines of science and engineering and using a variety of experimental techniques such as microfluidics, spectroscopy and interferometry, we study the single particle and collective behavior of both biological and synthetic motors with an aim to harness their activity to achieve various technological applications. Our current research focuses on understanding micromotor propulsion in crowded cytosolic environments, and utilization of motor dynamics in energy harvesting and environmental remediation applications.
Investigation of small scale active system prototypes is expected to augment the field of active matter physics, which seeks an understanding of the principles of life governing processes. Moreover, the pursuit of motion control at the molecular scale is also likely to revolutionize biomedical treatments and therapies of life-threatening diseases. Such an endeavor, though highly challenging, will open up new research directions in molecular biophysics and help unravel the connections between molecular machines, biological complexities and the emergent nature of life.