Enzymatically triggered actuation of miniaturized tools

Noy Bassik, Alla Brafman, Aasiyeh M. Zarafshar, Mustapha Jamal, Delgermaa Luvsanjav, Florin M. Selaru, David H. Gracias

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

83 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)16314-16317
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Issue number46
StatePublished - Nov 24 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry
  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry


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