Molecular Rotation Engine:
Licensing Opportunity
CRADA Opportunity

An arrow bent in a full circle.

Figures 1 and 2 of U.S.  Patent 7,349,834, 2008 FIG.  1
is a schematic illustration of one embodiment of the
molecular motor, in which actin is directionally applied on
an outer surface of a solid internal cylinder, myosin is
coated on an internal surface of a surrounding
complementary hollow cylinder, and rotation of the internal
cylinder drives a rotary gear.  Portions ofthe outer
cylinder are broken away to illustrate that the arrays of
actin and myosin extend along the length of the device.
FIG.  2 is a schematic illustration similar to FIG.  1, but
wherein the surfaces are on cones instead of cylinders.

Thomas D. Schneider and Ilya G. Lyakhov

"With imagination, we could use or find the technologies that create energy without destroying our planet"
--- British Prime Minister Tony Blair
address at a Labor Party conference in Brighton, England. (CNN: 2001 Oct 2)

Imagine an efficient engine that runs on sugar!

Informal Description of the Invention: The molecules that make a muscle pull can be coated onto the inner surfaces of a rotating bearing to create a wheel that rotates itself. By nesting a series of such wheels, the outer edge of the wheel could be made to move at any desired speed. By making a longer cylinder, the power can be increased. The power source of the engine is ATP, so the fuel can be grown (to make sugar and then ATP) and the engine could be highly efficient. On a microscopic scale, the device could be used to power other nanotechnologies or it could be used as a sensor for cellular conditions. On a macroscopic scale the motor could be a pollution-free source of power. Because the motor does not produce any pollution, widespread use for transportation would reduce CO2 emissions responsible for global warming and could reduce diseases from air pollution such as emphysema and cancer. For example, a major component of gasoline is benzene, which is known to cause leukemia. This engine would eliminate exposure at the gas pump, automobile exhaust fumes and from working in oil or chemical companies.

Formal Description of Invention:
The present application describes a molecular-based macroscopic rotating engine. The engine is constructed of two cylinders, one inner and one outer whose inner surfaces are coated with oriented mobility or contractile proteins. In the presence of ATP the cylinders rotate relative to each other. Speed of relative rotation is controlled by the concentration of ATP or by nesting a series of cylinders inside each other. Power is controlled by adjusting the length of the cylinders. One advantage of this technology over other macroscopic motors is that it can be used to supply power to prosthetic implants and medical devices without the drawbacks associated with conventional power sources. Other advantages are that the motor operates at room temperature, fuels can be prepared by growing sugar so the motor does not contribute to carbon dioxide pollution and the waste products are biologically safe.

Thomas D. Schneider (NCI) and Ilya G. Lyakhov

Patent Status:
DHHS Reference No. E-018-99/0 filed 03 Aug 1999

Devices/Instrumentation - Therapeutics, methods of using devices

This technology is available for license. For more information please contact us!

Molecular Rotation Engine

PCT Application (PDF)

Molecular Rotation Engine

U.S. Patent 7,349,834
issued 2008 Mar 25

color bar Small icon for Theory of Molecular Machines: physics,
chemistry, biology, molecular biology, evolutionary theory,
genetic engineering, sequence logos, information theory,
electrical engineering, thermodynamics, statistical
mechanics, hypersphere packing, gumball machines, Maxwell's
Daemon, limits of computers

Schneider Lab

origin: 1999 September 21
updated: 2016 Jan 07
color bar
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services  |  National Institutes of Health  |  National Cancer Institute  |  | 
Policies  |  Viewing Files  |  Accessibility  |  FOIA