Molecular machines to revolutionise drug delivery, cure: Nobel Laureate
“Drug delivery is the future of molecular machines,” said Nobel Laureate Bernard Lucas Feringa at Panjab University on Wednesday.
Feringa, who was awarded Nobel Prize in Chemistry for the design and synthesis of molecular machines in 2016, was speaking at 13th Chandigarh Science Congress held at Panjab University.
Professor Feringa, received two ERC Advanced Grants and is considered the pioneer of the rotary molecule motors.
His team has designed nano car that are simply light energy-driven molecule made up of 95% water. These nano cars can have enormous applications like making self-cleansing glasses, self-cleansing coating on cars etc. These molecular motors can be delivered inside body as nano robots to deliver drugs, fight against various diseases or perform repair work.
Prof Feringa said, “We built optical molecular switch and controlled drug delivery is possible with molecular rotary machines. The photo controlled antibiotic can be switched on and off by using light energy. “
‘’We should never forget that the base of everything is fundamental science and universities should focus on inculcating the basic sciences in students. Teachers must open windows of future for students. As scientists, we have a universal language, that is molecules and atoms and we don’t have borders. We teach students for future and we maintain international cooperation,” Feringa said. His research has been recognised with numerous awards, including the Spinoza Award(2004).
Inspired by Nature’s principles of molecular assembly, recognition, transport, motion and catalysis, Firanga said that his goal is to exploit the full potential of synthetic chemistry to create new structures and functions.
Talking about second generation molecular motors, he said that at first we made rotary molecules that did 1 rotation per hour and upon enhancing the speed now we have made it to 10 million rotations per second.
He said, “ Discovering of synchronizing Rotary Motion was a milestone for us.”
“We can change the responsive surfaces and we can rotate a micro object on that surface. In future, this can be used for self-cleaning of cars, windows, solar panels etc,” he said.
While answering a question, Professor Feringa said, ‘’We make selective porous materials that are responsive for different purposes and dynamic surface systems will see a lot of applications in the future like repair material etc.’’
“DNA computing is the hot topic all over the world,” he said, adding. ‘’We will work on it because of its potential.”
Feringa added, “ Follow your dreams, be confident, discover your energy, your passion, discover your limits and how high you set your bar.’’