Tiny self-assembling transport networks, powered by nano-scale motors and controlled by DNA, have been developed. And the system can construct its own network of tracks spanning tens of micrometers in length, transport cargo across the network and even dismantle the tracks.
Researchers were inspired by the melanophore, used by fish cells to control their color. Tracks in the network all come from a central point, like the spokes of a bicycle wheel. Motor proteins transport pigment around the network, either concentrating it in the center or spreading it throughout the network. Concentrating pigment in the center makes the cells lighter, as the surrounding space is left empty and transparent.