Molecular sorter

Molecular sorters are hypothetical nanomachines that separate certain types of molecules from solution. Molecular sorters could be used as a highly efficient method of purification. In the above model, the green molecules bind strongly to the receptors (represented by the white particles) distributed along the edge of a rotor driven by external forces. The purple molecules do not bind to the receptors. A stronger receptor is placed to the right of the sorting rotor to pull bound molecules out of the rotor's receptors. The simulation shows a highly selective transport of molecules through the sorter.

Purification devices such as this theoretical molecular sorter is critically important in future nanotechnology, because the process of manufacturing nanomachines at molecular level rests greatly on whether or not pure reagent moieties can be obtained accurately.

The above image is just an animated gif file. Click the above button or this link to launch this interactive activity.

System requirements: You must have Java Version 5 or higher in order to run this program. Please go to to get the latest Java software, if you are not sure.
Failed? Check out the FAQ for troubleshooting.

Get other models

Powered by Molecular Workbench
Copyright 2006, Concord Consortium.