Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Staying On The Path - One Atom At A Time

28.05.2004


New percolation model may allow researchers to study biochemistry at the atomic level

A new report in the May 24 Proceedings of the Royal Society of London. Series A: Mathematical and Physical Sciences announces a mathematical model that will help researchers understand "cell signaling" and learn how single atoms travel along the circuitous pathways in a cell.

The model is a new approach to look at percolation-the flow of a liquid or small particle through a porous material. In the simulation, materials pass through fields of complex, three- dimensional shapes, a scenario that is closer to realworld environments than existing two-dimensional models and models incorporating simpler shapes.

The model was developed by Ann Marie Sastry and Yun-Bo Yi, both of the University of Michigan. The researchers will use their findings in a larger study that will deploy sensor proteins inside a cell where the nanoscale devices will track the paths of ions.

The model reveals how the sensors might interact with the miniscule ions that contribute to such diseases as stroke, cardiovascular disease and cancer. With the proper experimental design, the researchers may be able to watch fundamental chemical reactions-at the molecular level-as they occur in living cells.

In addition to biological applications, the simulation will help researchers develop new materials by revealing better ways to craft porous substances. By understanding the properties of these types of materials, researchers can enhance conductivity in batteries, flow paths in filters and numerous other percolation mechanisms.

Sastry won a 1997 NSF Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE), the highest honor bestowed by the United States government on scientists and engineers beginning their independent research careers. The NSF support from that award contributed to the development of the percolation model.

Support for the work was also provided by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and the Office of Naval Research through the Synthetic Multifunctional Materials Program, managed by Leo Christodoulou of DARPA, and the W.M. Keck Foundation.

NSF comments regarding the Sastry research group: "With her PECASE award, Ann Marie Sastry has expanded her research focus from a single area in mechanical engineering, materials processing, into a broad exploration to uncover fundamental knowledge. She has demonstrated an ability to take advantage of support to move beyond her own initial training and move out to address societal needs." - Delcie Durham, program director in NSF’s Division of Design, Manufacture and Industrial Innovation who oversaw Sastry’s five-year award

"Because of her interests and abilities, Sastry has attracted a diverse team of students and guided them to address core areas within mechanical engineering. Sastry has expanded her research to address fundamental issues in mathematics, biology and energy." - Delcie Durham

"Sastry has been an articulate voice for manufacturing as a viable research and educational endeavor and a proponent of diversity as a critical component of these efforts." -

Delcie Durham | NSF
Further information:
http://www.nsf.gov
http://www.nsf.gov/od/lpa

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht A better way to weigh millions of solitary stars
15.12.2017 | Vanderbilt University

nachricht A chip for environmental and health monitoring
15.12.2017 | Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg

All articles from Physics and Astronomy >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: First-of-its-kind chemical oscillator offers new level of molecular control

DNA molecules that follow specific instructions could offer more precise molecular control of synthetic chemical systems, a discovery that opens the door for engineers to create molecular machines with new and complex behaviors.

Researchers have created chemical amplifiers and a chemical oscillator using a systematic method that has the potential to embed sophisticated circuit...

Im Focus: Long-lived storage of a photonic qubit for worldwide teleportation

MPQ scientists achieve long storage times for photonic quantum bits which break the lower bound for direct teleportation in a global quantum network.

Concerning the development of quantum memories for the realization of global quantum networks, scientists of the Quantum Dynamics Division led by Professor...

Im Focus: Electromagnetic water cloak eliminates drag and wake

Detailed calculations show water cloaks are feasible with today's technology

Researchers have developed a water cloaking concept based on electromagnetic forces that could eliminate an object's wake, greatly reducing its drag while...

Im Focus: Scientists channel graphene to understand filtration and ion transport into cells

Tiny pores at a cell's entryway act as miniature bouncers, letting in some electrically charged atoms--ions--but blocking others. Operating as exquisitely sensitive filters, these "ion channels" play a critical role in biological functions such as muscle contraction and the firing of brain cells.

To rapidly transport the right ions through the cell membrane, the tiny channels rely on a complex interplay between the ions and surrounding molecules,...

Im Focus: Towards data storage at the single molecule level

The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.

Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

AKL’18: The opportunities and challenges of digitalization in the laser industry

07.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Engineers program tiny robots to move, think like insects

15.12.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

One in 5 materials chemistry papers may be wrong, study suggests

15.12.2017 | Materials Sciences

New antbird species discovered in Peru by LSU ornithologists

15.12.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>