A compartmentalized out-of-equilibrium enzymatic reaction network for sustained autonomous movement

M. Nijemeisland, L.K.E.A. Abdelmohsen, W.T.S. Huck, D.A. Wilson, J.C.M. van Hest

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

117 Citations (Scopus)
179 Downloads (Pure)


Every living cell is a compartmentalized out-ofequilibrium system exquisitely able to convert chemical energy into function. In order to maintain homeostasis, the flux of metabolites is tightly controlled by regulatory enzymatic networks. A crucial prerequisite for the development of lifelike materials is the construction of synthetic systems with compartmentalized reaction networks that maintain out-of-equilibrium function. Here, we aim for autonomous movement as an example of the conversion of feedstock molecules into function. The flux of the conversion is regulated by a rationally designed enzymatic reaction network with multiple feedforward loops. By compartmentalizing the network into bowl-shaped nanocapsules the output of the network is harvested as kinetic energy. The entire system shows sustained and tunable microscopic motion resulting from the conversion of multiple external substrates. The successful compartmentalization of an out-of-equilibrium reaction network is a major first step in harnessing the design principles of life for construction of adaptive and internally regulated lifelike systems.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)843-849
Number of pages7
JournalACS Central Science
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 23 Nov 2016


Dive into the research topics of 'A compartmentalized out-of-equilibrium enzymatic reaction network for sustained autonomous movement'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this