Researchers in Japan have developed a pair of molecular-scale scissors that open and close in response to light. The tiny scissors are the first example of a molecular machine capable of mechanically manipulating molecules by using light, the scientists say.
The scissors measure just three nanometers in length, small enough to deliver drugs into cells or manipulate genes and other biological molecules, says principal investigator Takuzo Aida, Ph.D., professor of chemistry and biotechnology at the University of Tokyo.
The scissors-like molecular machine extends or folds in response to different wavelengths of light. Credit: University of Tokyo.