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Our Research

Dynamic Nonequilibrium Compartmentalisation
Nonequilibrium transmembrane processes are crucial in almost every biological process. Pumping and harnessing transmembrane gradients provides a convenient and efficient way for life to store and transduce energy. These fundamentally nonequilibrium processes require the application of ratchet mechanisms.
We are interested in creating artificial dynamic nonequilibrium compartmentalised systems. Application of ratchet mechanisms can allow transmembrane gradients to be pumped, and the energy released upon dissipating gradients to be harnessed to drive other processes. Applying these proof-of-concept systems will ultimately enable the development of life-like complex dynamic nonequilibrium compartmentalised systems.

The idea of a functional nonequilibrium nanotechnology capable of performing diverse functions ranging from energy storage, sensing, movement, synthesis, information processing and even thinking sounds like something from the pages of science fiction. Of course, a sophisticated nonequilibrium nanotechnology capable of performing all these things and more already exists: it is called biology.

We are interested in how nonequilibrium behaviour can be driven and sustained. We apply ratchet mechanisms in the context of compartmentalised systems, materials and complex reaction networks. We hope to develop a better understanding of the emergent nonequilibrium processes, and ultimately apply the lessons in developing artificial nanotechnologies.

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