Will living proteins revolutionize computing?
May 28, 2010 // R. Colin Johnson, EE Times.com
A living protein found in every cell of the human body — clathrin — could become a self-assembler of future information processing systems that are smaller, faster and cheaper than the inorganic computer circuitry we use today, according to ExQor Technologies, a Boston-based life sciences firm.
The material, which ExQor has already demonstrated can be formed into
nano-sized bio-lasers suitable for transmitting information, will first
be used in medical applications. But its developers say the high
precision of its self-assembly process — and ultra-small size — could
enhance solar cells, batteries and energy management systems with
nanoscale electronic and photonic properties not possible for silicon
and other inorganic approaches.
"Our multi-patented clathrin nanoparticle is an intelligent
platform that can be functionalized with additional elements, such as
drug cargo and ligands for medical applications," said Franco
Vitaliano, ExQor's founder. "But our clathrin scaffolding applications
are also dual use, with commercial applications in VLSI lithography,
biomolecular electronics and in self-assembling novel photonic
nano-structures for alternative energy generation."
Clathrin is a protein that exists in the cells of most living
things as a gate-keeper and signaling system — sorting and transporting
chemicals by folding around them as they are allowed to enter the cell.
Individual clathrin subunits, called triskelion, are shaped like a
tripod with three spindly legs.
Clathrin — a star-shaped molecule — self-assembles into nanoscale spheres that lase
In solution, ExQor's synthetic version self-assembles a number of
triskelia into 20-to-100 nanometer diameter cages containing cargo. By
functionalizing the triskelia with antibodies or other agents that
identify pathogenic conditions, such as cancer or tissue damage,
clathrin cages can carry drugs to specific cells, then pass inside to
deliver them. Since clathrin is a natural gatekeeper in the body, it
can readily access cells anywhere in the body — even safely entering the
brain, which normally prevents large molecule drug-cargos from
While researching clathrin for medical applications, ExQor discovered
that the material exhibits quantum properties useful for biocomputing
applicaitons, including nanoscale lasing.
"When we were first developing the clathrin asymmetric resonant cavity,
or ARC, we could not find any other research into lasing at scales as
small as ours — below 100 nanometers," said Vitaliano. "I think most
scientists at the time believed that structures at that scale could not
support lasing, but now we know it can, using cavity quantum
ExQor's first application of the nano-lasing property will be
energy industry treatments using self-generated light that prevents the
buildup and creation of industrial biofilm by killing culprit
organisms. But next on ExQor's list of applications is nanoscale
photonics. The researchers also claim that other quantum computing
phenomena, for which it has been granted U.S. patents, will enable
novel spin-based self-assembling nano-electronic devices that exceed
even the most optimistic performance characteristics currently being
planned for nanoscale devices using traditional inorganic materials.
"Our aspiration is to enable bio-based quantum computing at the
nanoscale by using the same completely reversible processes that keep
heat to a minimum in living things, unlike electronic devices today
that use irreversible processes which generate too much heat when
scaled down," said Vitaliano.
In addition, the researchers are looking to intermolecular
multiple quantum coherence and intermolecular zero quantum coherence,
methods that are used today to enhance the contrast of conventional
magnetic resonance imaging and as signposts for initiating and
controlling quantum effects in the body. All news
London Calling: ST's Bozotti seeks another term
May 24, 2013
Carlo Bozotti, chief executive officer, of ST was taking questions during a financial and media analysts' day held in London ...
Miniature self-charging tracking device generates its own radio signal
Time for a new UI programming paradigm
Mouser sign global distribution agreement with Advanced Thermal Solutions
Hydrogen power enters the call center
Brussels Calling: Qualcomm wins in a wasteful industry
May 23, 2013
Is there a difference between the U.S. and Europe on green and sustainability issues? It appears there is to judge from an ...
Europe in 10 billion € bid to boost chip industry
Nujira surpasses own world record for ET PA linearity
Silica moves to fast lane in Europe's LED market
InterviewSilica moves to fast lane in Europe's LED market
In the booming market for LED lighting, electronics distributor Silica intends to lead the pack by offering technological excellence at application level. The company is currently planning to offer tailor-made ...
Filter WizardCheck out the Filter Wizard Series of articles by Filter Guru Kendall Castor-Perry which provide invaluable practical Analog Design guidelines.
Linear video channel
READER OFFERRead more
The development platform for i.MX 6Quad from element14 (built to the Freescale SABRE Lite design) is an evaluation platform featuring the powerful i.MX 6Q, a multimedia application processor with Quad ARM Cortex-A9 cores at 1.2 GHz from Freescale Semiconductor.
This month, Freescale and element14 are giving away five such platforms, worth £128.06 each, for EETimes Europe's readers to win. The platform helps evaluate the rich set of peripherals and includes a 10/100/Gb Ethernet port, SATA-II, HDMI v1.4, LVDS, parallel RGB interface, touch screen interface, analog headphone/microphone, micro TF and SD card interface, USB, serial port, JTAG, camera interface, and input keys for Android.
And the winners are...
In our previous reader offer, Pico Technology was giving away one of its recently launched PicoScope 3207B, a 2-channel USB 3.0 oscilloscope worth 1451 Euros. Lucky winner Mr L. Sanchez-Gonzalez from Spain should be receiving his PicoScope 3207B soon. Let's wish them some interesting findings with his projects.
December 15, 2011 | Texas instruments | 222901974
Unique Ser/Des technology supports encrypted video and audio content with full duplex bi-directional control channel over a single wire interface.