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Microhydraulic Actuation Using Biological Ion Transporters Reconstituted on Artificial BLM

  • Vishnu Baba Sundaresan (a1) and Donald J Leo (a2)


Plants and animals have the natural ability to exhibit force through controlled pressurization of cellular compartments. The mechanism through which force is generated is powered by biological fuels. The process involves moving ions against an established concentration gradient expending free energy from bio-fuels like Adenosine-tri-phosphate (ATP), kinesin etc., Materials exhibiting deformation using biological processes are called Nastic materials. The functional component in mass transfer across the cell boundary is the ion transporter embedded in cell membranes. The ion transporters which are complex protein molecules, move ions and water molecules for an applied chemical or electrical stimulus. The bio-inspired microhydraulic actuator uses the same functional component in plant cells reconstituted on a planar bilayer lipid membrane (BLM) formed from purified lipids. The protein transporters pump ions and fluid into an enclosed cavity to cause deformation. The controlled fluid transport through AtSUT4(proton-sucrose co-transporter extracted from Arabidopsis thaliana) reconstituted on a 1-Palmitoyl-2-Oleoyl-sn-Glycero-3-[Phospho-L-Serine] (Sodium Salt) (POPS), 1-Palmitoyl-2-Oleoyl-sn-Glycero- 3-Phosphoethanolamine (POPE) BLM on porous lead silicate glass plate driven by a proton gradient demonstrated the ability to move fluid across the membrane. This article discusses a prototype microhydraulic actuator that increases in thickness for an applied pH and sucrose concentration gradient.



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Microhydraulic Actuation Using Biological Ion Transporters Reconstituted on Artificial BLM

  • Vishnu Baba Sundaresan (a1) and Donald J Leo (a2)


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