Enzymatically Triggered Actuation of Miniaturized Tools

Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland 21218, USA.
Journal of the American Chemical Society (Impact Factor: 12.11). 11/2010; 132(46):16314-7. DOI: 10.1021/ja106218s
Source: PubMed


We demonstrate a methodology that utilizes the specificity of enzyme-substrate biomolecular interactions to trigger miniaturized tools under biocompatible conditions. Miniaturized grippers were constructed using multilayer hinges that employed intrinsic strain energy and biopolymer triggers, as well as ferromagnetic elements. This composition obviated the need for external energy sources and allowed for remote manipulation of the tools. Selective enzymatic degradation of biopolymer hinge components triggered closing of the grippers; subsequent reopening was achieved with an orthogonal enzyme. We highlight the utility of these enzymatically triggered tools by demonstrating the biopsy of liver tissue from a model organ system and gripping and releasing an alginate bead. This strategy suggests an approach for the development of smart materials and devices that autonomously reconfigure in response to extremely specific biological environments.

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