Active self-assembly processes exploit an energy source to accelerate the movement of building blocks and intermediate structures and modify their interactions. A model system is the assembly of biotinylated microtubules partially coated with streptavidin into linear bundles as they glide on a surface coated with kinesin motor proteins. By tuning the assembly conditions, microtubule bundles with near millimeter length are created, demonstrating that active self-assembly is beneficial if components are too large for diffusive self-assembly but too small for robotic assembly.
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
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