NIH - Nanomedicine Development Center (NDC)
Peixuan Guo, Director
“Ingenious” biological machines, such as motors and membrane channels, inspire the development of biomimetic devices to enable specific cellular control for disease treatment and tissue repair. However, the development and control of a delivery device that can recognize specific targets for the active pumping of therapeutic DNA, RNA, or drugs into cells is challenging. We will bridge the knowledge gap at the bio and nanomaterials interface by constructing matrix- or lipid membrane-adapted motors employing the well-studied bacteriophage phi29 DNA packaging motor. Research expertise and unmatchable collaborative facilities for biology and nanotechnology research will reveal engineering principles underlying the physical motion, energy transduction and transmembrane transport capabilities of the embedded motor. This matches the Vision of the NIH Roadmap for Medicine RFA, including “a system of molecular motors”, a model for the study of “energy transduction”, and a tool for “transport of materials across membranes”.