Molecular motors in new media

Research output: ThesisThesis fully internal (DIV)

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Molecular motors are biological machines that are responsible for most forms of movement within the cell. In the last 20 years, synthetic motors have been extensively investigated in Groningen. These molecules are inspired by biological motors and can rotate around an internal axis under the influence of light. The fundamental properties of synthetic motors are well understood currently and properties like rotation speeds and wavelength of light absorption may be adapted as desired. In the last few years applications for synthetic motors have started to emerge. These are varies and can lie in for example smart materials or catalysis. Biological applications are currently rare because the type of molecular motor that is used is hydrophobic, i.e. it does not dissolve in water. Molecular switches are successfully being used to regulate important processes in the cell; for molecular motors the possibilities are also endless. In this thesis the first steps are made towards successful applications of synthetic molecular motors in biological environments. By adapting the structure the motor can dissolve and operate in water while rotation is also studied in a model for the cell membrane. Additionally, molecular motors are utilized to influence the structure of DNA and in photopharmacology, the research field in which light is used to regulate the activity of drugs. Therefore, this thesis will form a basis for follow-up research in which biological functions of increasing complexity can be influence and controlled by light.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • University of Groningen
  • Feringa, Ben L., Supervisor
  • Szymanski, Wiktor, Co-supervisor
Award date24-Nov-2017
Place of Publication[Groningen]
Print ISBNs978-94-034-0090-7
Electronic ISBNs978-94-034-0000-6
Publication statusPublished - 2017

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