Propulsion of a molecular machine by asymmetric distribution of reaction products

Phys Rev Lett. 2005 Jun 10;94(22):220801. doi: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.94.220801. Epub 2005 Jun 10.


A simple model for the reaction-driven propulsion of a small device is proposed as a model for (part of) a molecular machine in aqueous media. The motion of the device is driven by an asymmetric distribution of reaction products. The propulsive velocity of the device is calculated as well as the scale of the velocity fluctuations. The effects of hydrodynamic flow as well as a number of different scenarios for the kinetics of the reaction are addressed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Colloids / chemistry
  • Enzymes / chemistry
  • Kinetics
  • Models, Biological
  • Models, Chemical*
  • Molecular Motor Proteins / chemistry*
  • Stochastic Processes


  • Colloids
  • Enzymes
  • Molecular Motor Proteins