What is Meso-Science? What is Meso-Control?

1. The meso-scale refers to the space scale mainly between 5 to 100 nm (another useful definition of 3 to 300 nm is often used; the meso-scale is larger than the nano-scale, but smaller than the micron-scale).

2. Nano science has been elucidating the structures and functions of nano-scale structures of 0.1 to several nanometers, which are not as susceptible to thermal fluctuations as the meso-systems.

3. Nano-units assemble to form meso-systems.
Meso-science deals with the dynamic meso-scale systems, which are formed by the assembly and disassembly of nano-units (components).

4. Due to the small size of the meso-system, the number of constituent nano-units to form a meso-system is considered to be small, i.e. between 3 and ~1,000. The behaviors of such a small, dynamic system are difficult to describe by statistical mechanics: they can be characterized by large, thermal, structural fluctuations. Such fluctuations are normally considered as problematic noise in the macroscopic world we live in. However, in the mesoscopic world, such thermal structural fluctuations and stochastic behaviors of the system are believed to drive the functions of the meso-system, although much more work is needed before we truly understand how this is accomplished in the meso world in living cells.

On the other hand, the meso-scale systems are already too large and the events occurring in the meso-scale are too complex to be realistically described and predicted by quantum mechanics.

Namely, the meso-scale systems and events are in a world we scarcely know, although they are likely to represent the essence of cellular functions.

5. Understanding the mechanisms for the function and construction of the meso-system is essential for comprehending cellular functions, as well as for developing artificial meso-machines, using nano-devices. Artificial meso-machines might be constructed and used in different ways from cellular meso-systems, but the essence of their functional and construction mechanisms, which we call meso-control, must be similar. Therefore, our analyses of the cellular meso-systems and meso-machines will provide the overall directions for designing artificial mesoscopic machines, which are in great demand for the energy-efficient processing of chemical substances and information.

While the miniaturization of silicon circuits has been successfully achieved, and will become even more important for creating artificial meso-machines, we believe that another completely different design principle, i.e., meso-control, which takes advantage of the thermal fluctuations of the meso system, is necessary. Meso-control will be one of the key concepts for tomorrow’s technological innovations.

6. In other words, we need to generate meso-technology beyond nanotechnology. This is the field in which we want to be leading the world.

7. Artificial meso-control and meso-machines will also become useful tools for regulating the meso-systems within living cells, controlling and modifying them for understanding their functions, as well as for cell-based drug screening and treatments in medicine.

8. As a matter of fact, cells themselves have developed such meso-control to perform their functions during evolution.

9. Another important mission of the iCeMS is to fuse cellular and materials meso-sciences. For example, regenerative medicine in the future will greatly benefit from such developments.


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