Friday, August 29, 2008

US Patent 7417119 - Protein processing using nanowire arrays

This patent from SRI International teaches a new way to conduct protein assembly to build complex molecular structures by using programmable charge patterns that can attract molecules in specified arrangements. Although I am generally sceptical of the popularized "nanorobot" version of nanotechnology, the technology covered by this patent has at least some possibility of leading in the direction of some sort of manufacturable nanobiorobot. Claim 1 reads:

1. A device for promoting the bonding of molecules from a medium containing unbound molecules of interest, said device comprising:

an addressable nanoscale array, said nanoscale array being multilayer and on a flexible substrate and wherein a charge pattern is imposable on a first surface of said addressable nanoscale array, such that the charge pattern is predetermined to selectively attract molecules from said medium and whereby, as a consequence of the attraction of the charge pattern, formation of bonds among said molecules of interest is effected.