Molecular machines

C. Mavroidis, A. Dubey, M. L. Yarmush

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

106 Scopus citations


Molecular machines are tiny energy conversion devices on the molecular-size scale. Whether naturally occurring or synthetic, these machines are generally more efficient than their macroscale counterparts. They have their own mechanochemistry, dynamics, workspace, and usability and are composed of nature's building blocks: namely proteins, DNA, and other compounds, built atom by atom. With modern scientific capabilities it has become possible to create synthetic molecular devices and interface them with each other. Countless such machines exist in nature, and it is possible to build artificial ones by mimicking nature. Here we review some of the known molecular machines, their structures, features, and characteristics. We also look at certain devices in their early development stages, as well as their future applications and challenges.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)363-395
Number of pages33
JournalAnnual Review of Biomedical Engineering
StatePublished - 2004

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Biomedical Engineering


  • Bionanotechnology
  • Molecular motors
  • Nanodevices
  • Nanomachines
  • Nanomotors


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