In daily life, you continuously encounter engines. In your car, in machines…our body is also full of engines. Extremely small engines that make our arms move, let us speak, that make our cells divide. What we have done, is building an engine at nano scale: one billionth of a meter big. You see – under the influence of sunlight, that is the energy, the fuel, the engine is rotating. And what is the function of such an engine? You could place it on a surface, and a lot of these engines together could make a surface that moves of itself. Imagine a self-cleaning window, or a self-cleaning car. Or a scratch repairing itself. We also built a nano-car. Two billionth of a meter big. What do we want witht that? We wanted to demonstrate that we can move something, transport something on nano-scale, like there is happening in our bodies in the living cell. Our dream for the future are small robots that might be able to walk through your body to deliver a medicine in a specific location. Science fiction will become reality.

University of Groningen

What if your car could clean itself? And a scratch in its paint could repair itself? Ben Feringa, Nobel prize winner in chemistry, explains why he made a car of a few nanometers big to make this science fiction reality.

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