Molecular Machines
How to engineer at the limits of complexity with molecular-scale parts.
The Molecular Machines group is focused on pioneering the field of Avogadro scale engineering, which seeks to understand and approach the fundamental limit of engineered complexity deliverable per unit cost. The group has a particular focus on applications within synthetic biology, novel computing machines, and nanostructured devices for energy production.

Research Projects

  • GeneFab

    Bram Sterling, Kelly Chang, Joseph M. Jacobson, Peter Carr, Brian Chow, David Sun Kong, Michael Oh and Sam Hwang
    What would you like to "build with biology"? The goal of the GeneFab projects is to develop technology for the rapid fabrication of large DNA molecules, with composition specified directly by the user. Our intent is to facilitate the field of Synthetic Biology as it moves from a focus on single genes to designing complete biochemical pathways, genetic networks, and more complex systems. Sub-projects include: DNA error correction, microfluidics for high throughput gene synthesis, and genome-scale engineering (rE. coli).
  • NanoFab

    Kimin Jun, Jaebum Joo, and Joseph M. Jacobson
    We are developing techniques to use a focused ion beam to program the fabrication of nanowires-based nanostructures and logic devices.
  • Scaling Up DNA Logic and Structures

    Joseph M. Jacobson and Noah Jakimo

    Our goals include novel gene logic and data logging systems, as well as DNA scaffolds that can be produced on commercial scales. State of the art in the former is limited by finding analogous and orthogonal proteins for those used in current single-layer gates and two-layered circuits. State of the art in the latter is constrained in size and efficiency by kinetic limits on self-assembly. We have designed and plan to demonstrate cascaded logic on chromosomes and DNA scaffolds that exhibit exponential growth.

  • Synthetic Photosynthesis

    Kimin Jun

    We are using nanowires to build structures for synthetic photosynthesis for the solar generation of liquid fuels.