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"Regarding engines" what are the current theories and examples of ongoing progress in nanoparticles?

National Nanotechnology Initiative

electric motor made from one molecule 18 atoms

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We already have nano-particle engines called cells. If you want to make nano-scale engineering, it is best to use the natural cell materials. This was adressed in another question. –  Ron Maimon Jul 15 '12 at 3:16
@ronmaimon Natural cells are very interesting, however I am interested in scaled mechanical engines. –  Argus Jul 15 '12 at 7:03
Proteins are scaled mechanical engines in certain respects--- they mechanically move molecules with precision, using molecular power source (usually the electrostatic repulsion of the third phosphate group in ATP). It is very natural to modify proteins to do mechanical work for us, rather than build on the microscale using industrial scale materials like steel and iron. Biological engineering is capable of much more elaborate useful micro-engines than any scaled down macro-engine. –  Ron Maimon Jul 15 '12 at 8:13
nature.com/nnano/journal/v6/n10/carousel/nnano.2011.142-f1.jpg. I was thinking more of a cog-wheel type structures. –  Argus Jul 15 '12 at 13:12
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