Skip to ContentSkip to Navigation
About us Faculty of Science and Engineering PhD ceremonies

Force exertion by light-fueled self-assembly

Artificial polymer motors
PhD ceremony:N. Cissé
When:February 14, 2023
Supervisors:prof. dr. T. Kudernác, W.R. (Wesley) Browne, Prof Dr
Where:Academy building RUG
Faculty:Science and Engineering

Vital cellular functions rely on dynamic soft materials known as microtubules and actin filaments. The role of these polymerization motors consists in converting the free energy of supramolecular polymerization into mechanical forces, through which purposeful motion can be generated, for example chromosomes separation or cell movement. The goal of this PhD project is to create fully artificial and waste-free polymerization motors capable of converting light into mechanical forces at the nanoscale and beyond. The first challenge is to control the aqueous supramolecular polymerization of dynamic tubular self-assemblies (artificial microtubules) and dynamic networks of helical supramolecular polymers (artificial actin networks) by light. The second challenge is to demonstrate the exertion of mechanical forces generated by their light-fueled self-assembly.