Nanotechnology Spotlight – Latest Articles

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Showing Spotlights 1 - 8 of 33 in category All (newest first):


Shape-shifting slimebots (w/video)

slimebotCombining the benefits of both fluid and solids, researchers have demonstrated various functions for their slimebots, including navigation in narrow channels much smaller than their size; object capture operations via the curl or endocytosis modes; and circuit repair and controlled switching using their own conductive properties that can even be reconfigured as self-healing strain sensors for monitoring human motion. The widely applicable working environment of these novel magnetic slime robots make them promising for future applications in biomedical and wearable devices.

Apr 4th, 2022

Stealth microrobots fly under the radar of the immune system (w/video)

microrobotThe immune system's activation of macrophages, a type of immune cells that are on the lookout for pathogens, is a major obstacle for developing functional medical microrobots that can operate in vivo for a prolonged period of time. Researchers are trying to overcome this challenge by 'camouflaging' therapeutic nanoparticles with special coatings so that they avoid detection by macrophages. In new work, researchers report the development of stealth microrobots that can fly under the radar of the immune system, and hence prolong their window of operation since they do not get eliminated.

Oct 26th, 2020

Sperm-powered micro trucks

spermbotResearchers have developed a hybrid sperm micromotor, which can carry a payload and efficiently and controllably swim against flowing blood. Sperm-based micromotors hold several advantages, in particular their powerful propulsion generated by the beating of the sperm flagella. Sperm are also able to swim for several days with a drag force up to 100 pN. The most important feature of sperm micromotors to operate in the bloodstream is their ability to swim against flow as well as close to boundaries, where the blood velocity is lower than the average velocity, due to shear stress.

Oct 8th, 2020

Shape shifting robots

robotBiology serves as an important proof-of-principle, and design challenge, for artificial intelligence and shape changing robots. Numerous organisms successfully exploit shape change as a mechanism for adaptation and survival. However, for robotics designers one fundamental question to start with is that it is unclear when and how robots should change their shape. A recent progress review provides an overview of the literature related to robots that change shape to enhance and expand their functionality.

Oct 6th, 2020

Magnetically propelled MOFBOTs perform microrobotic drug delivery (w/video)

MOFBOTBy applying concepts developed in micro- and nanorobotics, researchers demonstrate the controlled motion and delivery of cargo payloads embedded in metal-organic frameworks (MOFs). The helical MOF-based micromachine, propelled by artificial bacterial flagella, can swim and follow complex trajectories in three dimensions under the control of weak rotational magnetic fields. These swimmers are tumor-responsiv and can act as selectively automated and targeted drug delivery platforms.

May 20th, 2019