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Drexler Nanosystems Rotary Design Animation

This is an animation based on a schematic design by K. Eric Drexler in his book ‘Nanosystems: Molecular Machinery, Manufacturing, and Computation’. This nanometer scale rotary built to atomic precision, will purify specific molecules by transferring only the correct molecule from the left to the right chamber.

Duration : 0:0:41

Filed Under: Nanotechnology


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  1. dabiribd says:


  2. nanogirl says:

    Thank you so much …
    Thank you so much dabiribd!

  3. tranquilatus says:

    Magnificent. :-)
    Magnificent. :-)

  4. blazerblast says:

    nice,now what about …
    nice,now what about the english?

  5. trailkeeper says:

    looks like a “nano …
    looks like a “nano selector” or “nano selective gate”

  6. terrafirmaterrafirma says:

    Looks like this …
    Looks like this nano-selector could have been easily jammed by one of those rectangular particles. Not a good design, if I may add.

  7. nanogirl says:

    The rectangle is …
    The rectangle is only a representation of how the wrong molecule would not be able to fit in the shape carriage for a different molecule. If you notice, the spheres are actually going inside of a reverse sphere shape, and the rectangles are too big to go in them. There for they pop out. The rectangles and sphere’s would not really be in the system, they are just simple examples. Molecules would be even more complex which would make it actually even more impossible for them to fit.

  8. terrafirmaterrafirma says:

    I hope so. I am …
    I hope so. I am left with the question. What happens if a nano-selector gets jammed. Obviously under some conditions this could spell disaster. Maybe the nano selector can be designed in such a way that when it know it is jammed (no rotation possible) it will rotate the other way, and then back again.

  9. nanogirl says:

    Think of it this …
    Think of it this way, you can not fit a square peg into a round hole. If the positive shape does not match the negative shape, it will not go in, thus will not jam. If you want more details on this design, check out the book Nanosystems by Drexler.

  10. terrafirmaterrafirma says:

    ummm, you may not * …
    ummm, you may not *perfectly* fit a square peg into a round hole, but you can certainly fit something that will jam the nano-selector. Example, you can certainly feed a fat enough needle into a lock and jam it.

  11. nanogirl says:

    (Read first) If a …
    (Read first) If a molecule doesn’t fit into a binding site it binds very poorly and comes off right away, (remember that there is not just a shape interaction here, but a chemical interaction as well). There are cases in biology with protein enzymes, in which a molecule will bind tightly to a site and poison the enzyme from working further – these involve multi step reactions in which the poison fits the first step but not the second step.

  12. nanogirl says:

    (Read second) The …
    (Read second) The molecular sorter here is a single step in which the molecule either binds to the receptor or it doesn’t and it is one step in of a much longer multi step process. Look up “Nanofactory Movie” to see the full process. For more technical details read the book Nanosystems by Drexler who designed this structure and is an authority on the subject.

  13. terrafirmaterrafirma says:

    The turning of the …
    The turning of the nano-selector may be faster than the time it take the non-fitting molecule to be rejected. Thus I still hold that the nano selector as depicted in the video is prone to jamming unless additional measures are taken.

  14. nanogirl says:

    Part 1: This is an …
    Part 1: This is an animation that I made in real time so it is functioning in a real time that you are able to view. Atomic scale is different than ours (not real time), and the representations in this nanoscale scale model reside in that atomic scale time. This is a simulation I made with a computer program, not a physical design with an AFM (a physical design is not here yet) – although you can take a look at nature for references.

  15. nanogirl says:

    Part2: The time and …
    Part2: The time and mathematical calculations will be factored into the real design. If you are making the point based on this simulation you are not looking at atomic scale time, nor are you looking at the chemical binding interactions, nor are you looking at the entire nano embler design. Again, if you want more technical details you can find them in the designers book, Nanosystems by K. Eric Drexler.

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