The tail sheath of bacteriophage T4 as a microactuator

Wayne Falk, R. D. James

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Bacteriophage T4 is a virus that attacks bacteria by a fascinating mechanism involving a natural microactuator. In this paper we give a theory for this microactuator that explains the deformations observed and is capable of giving quantitative information on the forces produced and the changes in free energy that occur. The theory suggests a route to man-made synthesis of this actuator (biomolecular epitaxy (BME)) and some interesting experiments that could be done on synthesized sheets.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)57-64
Number of pages8
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2006
EventProceedings of the U.S. Army Workshop on Advanced Active Thin Films For Meso-Micro Scale Applications - Destin, FL, United States
Duration: May 10 2005May 12 2005


  • Bacteriophage
  • Microactuators
  • Protein sheets
  • Virus


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