Brown University School of Engineering

Joint Materials/Solid Mechanics Seminar: A stochastic analysis of the motion of DNA nanomechanical bipeds

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Monday, October 21, 2013 4:00pm - 5:00pm

Research in biological motors and recent advances in DNA nanofabrication technology have spurred a lot of interest in biomimetic nanomotor designs and DNA-based devices, such as nanomechanical switches and DNA templates for the growth of semiconductor nanocrystals, to name a few. Research activity in this area has been focused on designing and controlling dynamic DNA nanomachines that can be activated by and respond to specific chemical signals in their environment. In this talk, we formulate and analyze a Markov process modeling the motion of DNA nanomechanical walking devices. We consider a molecular biped restricted to a well-defined one-dimensional track and study its asymptotic behavior. Our main result is a functional central limit theorem for the biped with an explicit formula for the effective diffusion coefficient in terms of the parameters of the model. A law of large numbers and large deviation estimates are also obtained. Our approach is applicable to a variety of other biological motors such as myosin and motor proteins on polymer filaments. This is joint work with Iddo Ben-Ari and Alexander Roitershtein.