'Micro-swimmers' may soon help with drug delivery
- The technique makes use of light as a fuel to induce the tiny robots to move in simulations
What are micro-swimmers?
- Microswimmers are microscopic objects that can move in liquid environments and were first discovered at the turn of the third millennium.
- Microswimmers come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and are powered and actuated in a variety of ways.
- Individual microswimmers and swarms have experimented with a variety of swimming strategies over the years.
How they swim
- The PHI carbon nitride microparticles are photocatalytic.
- “Like in a solar cell, the incident light is converted into electrons and holes.
- These charges drive reactions in the surrounding liquid.
- The charges react with the fluid surrounding them.
- This reaction, combined with the particle’s electric field, makes the microbots (micro-swimmers) swim.
Applications of microswimmers
- The field of biomedical applications, where many interesting examples have already been reported for cargo transport and drug delivery, artificial insemination, sensing, indirect manipulation of cells and other microscopic objects, imaging, and microsurgery, is a particularly promising target for cleverly engineered microswimmers.