International Science Index

Smart Motion

Austenite and Martensite indicate the phases of solids undergoing phase transformation which we usually associate with materials and not with living organisms. This article provides an overview of bacterial proteins and structures that are undergoing phase transformation and suggests its probable effect on mechanical behavior. The context is mainly within the role of phase transformations occurring in the flagellum of bacteria. The current knowledge of molecular mechanism leading to phase variation in living organisms is reviewed. Since in bacteria, each flagellum is driven by a separate motor, similarity to a Differential drive in case of four-wheeled vehicles is suggested. It also suggests the application of the mechanism in which bacteria changes its direction of movement to facilitate single point turning of a multi-wheeled vehicle. Finally, examples are presented to illustrate that the motion due to phase transformation of flagella in bacteria can start a whole new research on motion mechanisms.

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