DOI: 10.1039/C5CS00874C (Tutorial Review) Chem. Soc. Rev., 2016, 45, 6118-6129
Man-made molecular machines: membrane bound
Matthew A. Watson and Scott L. Cockroft *
EaStCHEM School of Chemistry, University of Edinburgh, Joseph Black Building, David Brewster Road, Edinburgh, EH9 3FJ, UK. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Received 25th November 2015
First published on the web 2nd March 2016
Nature's molecular machines are a constant source of inspiration to the chemist. Many of these molecular machines function within lipid membranes, allowing them to exploit potential gradients between spatially close, but chemically distinct environments to fuel their work cycle. Indeed, the realisation of such principles in synthetic transmembrane systems remains a tantalising goal. This tutorial review opens by highlighting seminal examples of synthetic molecular machines. We illustrate the importance of surfaces for facilitating the extraction of work from molecular switches and motors. We chart the development of man-made transmembrane systems; from passive to machine-like stimuli-responsive channels, to fully autonomous transmembrane molecular machines. Finally, we highlight higher-order compartmentalised systems that exhibit emergent properties. We suggest that such higher-order architectures could serve as platforms for sophisticated devices that co-ordinate the activity of numerous transmembrane molecular machines.
Key learning points
(1) Illustrative examples of natural transmembrane molecular machines.
(2) The conceptual basis of molecular machines, categorisation of machine behaviour.
(3) The state of the art of synthetic molecular machines operating in solution and at interfaces.
(4) The progress towards and the future of man-made transmembrane molecular machines.
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