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Micromachines 2017, 8(12), 349; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi8120349

Swimming Characteristics of Bioinspired Helical Microswimmers Based on Soft Lotus-Root Fibers

1,2,3
,
1,2,* , 1,2,3
,
4
,
5
and
1,2,4
1
Guangdong Provincial Key Laboratory of Robotics and Intelligent System, Shenzhen Institutes of Advanced Technology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shenzhen 518055, China
2
CAS Key Laboratory of Human-Machine Intelligence-Synergy Systems, Shenzhen Institutes of Advanced Technology, Shenzhen 518055, China
3
University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
4
Department of Mechanical and Automation Engineering, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China
5
School of Science and Engineering, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shenzhen 518172, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 27 October 2017 / Revised: 24 November 2017 / Accepted: 28 November 2017 / Published: 30 November 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Locomotion at Small Scales: From Biology to Artificial Systems)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [3665 KB, uploaded 30 November 2017]   |  

Abstract

Various kinds of helical swimmers inspired by E. coli bacteria have been developed continually in many types of researches, but most of them are proposed by the rigid bodies. For the targeted drug delivery, the rigid body may hurt soft tissues of the working region with organs. Due to this problem, the biomedical applications of helical swimmers may be restricted. However, the helical microswimmers with the soft and deformable body are appropriate and highly adaptive in a confined environment. Thus, this paper presents a lotus-root-based helical microswimmer, which is fabricated by the fibers of lotus-root coated with magnetic nanoparticles to active under the magnetic fields. The helical microstructures are derived from the intrinsic biological structures of the fibers of the lotus-root. This paper aims to study the swimming characteristic of lotus-root-based microswimmers with deformable helical bodies. In the initial step under the uniform magnetic actuation, the helical microswimmers are bent lightly due to the heterogeneous distribution of the internal stress, and then they undergo a swimming motion which is a spindle-like rotation locomotion. Our experiments report that the microswimmers with soft bodies can locomote faster than those with rigid bodies. Moreover, we also find that the curvature of the shape decreases as a function of actuating field frequency which is related to the deformability of lotus-root fibers. View Full-Text
Keywords: helical microswimmer; soft fiber; spindle-like rotate; magnetic actuation helical microswimmer; soft fiber; spindle-like rotate; magnetic actuation
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).
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Liu, J.; Xu, T.; Guan, Y.; Yan, X.; Ye, C.; Wu, X. Swimming Characteristics of Bioinspired Helical Microswimmers Based on Soft Lotus-Root Fibers. Micromachines 2017, 8, 349.

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