The design hypothesis, architectures, and preliminary computational results of a peptide based nanoTweezer are presented in this paper. We engineered the α-helical coiled coil portion of the yeast transcriptional activator peptide called GCN4 to obtain an environmentally-responsive nanoTweezer. The dimeric coiled coil peptide consists of two identical ~4.5 nm long and ~3 nm wide polypeptide chains. The actuation mechanism depends on the modifying electrostatic charges along the peptide by varying the pH of the solution resulting in the reversible movement of helices and therefore, creating the motion of the tweezer. Preliminary molecular dynamics results indicated that pH changes led to a reversible deflection of 1–2 nm with the nanoTweezer. The force profile of the nanoTweezer motion and some potential applications are also discussed.

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