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Bioinspired Helical Microswimmers Based on Vascular Plants

Gao, Wei and Feng, Xiaomiao and Pei, Allen and Kane, Christopher R. and Tam, Ryan and Hennessy, Camille and Wang, Joseph (2014) Bioinspired Helical Microswimmers Based on Vascular Plants. Nano Letters, 14 (1). pp. 305-310. ISSN 1530-6984. doi:10.1021/nl404044d.

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Plant-based bioinspired magnetically propelled helical microswimmers are described. The helical microstructures are derived from spiral water-conducting vessels of different plants, harnessing the intrinsic biological structures of nature. Geometric variables of the spiral vessels, such as the helix diameter and pitch, can be controlled by mechanical stretching for the precise fabrication and consistent performance of helical microswimmers. Xylem vessels of a wide variety of different plants have been evaluated for the consistency and reproducibility of their helical parameters. Sequential deposition of thin Ti and Ni layers directly on the spiral vessels, followed by dicing, leads to an extremely simple and cost-efficient mass-production of functional helical microswimmers. The resulting plant-based magnetic microswimmers display efficient propulsion, with a speed of over 250 μm/s, as well as powerful locomotion in biological media such as human serum. The influence of actuation frequencies on the swimming velocity is investigated. Such use of plant vessels results in significant savings in the processing costs and provides an extremely simple, cost-effective fabrication route for the large-scale production of helical magnetic swimmers.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription Information
Gao, Wei0000-0002-8503-4562
Additional Information:© 2013 American Chemical Society. Received 30 October 2013. Published online 27 November 2013. Published in print 8 January 2014. This project received support from the Defense Threat Reduction Agency—Joint Science and Technology Office for Chemical and Biological Defense (grant no. HDTRA1-13-1-0002). W.G. is a HHMI International Student Research fellow. X.M.F. acknowledges financial support from Jiangsu Overseas Research & Training Program (China). Author Contributions: W.G., X.F., and A.P. contributed equally. The authors declare no competing financial interest.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA)HDTRA1-13-1-0002
Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI)UNSPECIFIED
Jiangsu Overseas Research & Training ProgramUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:helical; magnetic propulsion; Nanomotors; spiral vessels; vascular plant
Issue or Number:1
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20180123-095920633
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Official Citation:Bioinspired Helical Microswimmers Based on Vascular Plants Wei Gao, Xiaomiao Feng, Allen Pei, Christopher R. Kane, Ryan Tam, Camille Hennessy, and Joseph Wang Nano Letters 2014 14 (1), 305-310 DOI: 10.1021/nl404044d
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:84469
Deposited By: Ruth Sustaita
Deposited On:01 Feb 2018 00:32
Last Modified:15 Nov 2021 20:20

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