Header logo is

Nanopropellers and Their Actuation in Complex Viscoelastic Media

2014

Article

pf


Tissue and biological fluids are complex viscoelastic media with a nanoporous macromolecular structure. Here, we demonstrate that helical nanopropellers can be controllably steered through such a biological gel. The screw-propellers have a filament diameter of about 70 nm and are smaller than previously reported nanopropellers as well as any swimming microorganism. We show that the nanoscrews will move through high-viscosity solutions with comparable velocities to that of larger micropropellers, even though they are so small that Brownian forces suppress their actuation in pure water. When actuated in viscoelastic hyaluronan gels, the nanopropellers appear to have a significant advantage, as they are of the same size range as the gel’s mesh size. Whereas larger helices will show very low or negligible propulsion in hyaluronan solutions, the nanoscrews actually display significantly enhanced propulsion velocities that exceed the highest measured speeds in Newtonian fluids. The nanopropellers are not only promising for applications in the extracellular environment but small enough to be taken up by cells.

Featured cover article.

Author(s): Schamel, Debora and Mark, Andrew G. and Gibbs, John G. and Miksch, Cornelia and Morozov, Konstantin I. and Leshansky, Alexander M. and Fischer, Peer
Journal: ACS Nano
Volume: 8
Number (issue): 9
Pages: 8794-8801
Year: 2014
Month: June

Department(s): Micro, Nano, and Molecular Systems
Bibtex Type: Article (article)

DOI: 10.1021/nn502360t
Eprint: http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/nn502360t
Note: Featured cover article.
URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/nn502360t

Links: Video - Helical Micro and Nanopropellers for Applications in Biological Fluidic Environments
Video:

BibTex

@article{nn502360t,
  title = {Nanopropellers and Their Actuation in Complex Viscoelastic Media},
  author = {Schamel, Debora and Mark, Andrew G. and Gibbs, John G. and Miksch, Cornelia and Morozov, Konstantin I. and Leshansky, Alexander M. and Fischer, Peer},
  journal = {ACS Nano},
  volume = {8},
  number = {9},
  pages = {8794-8801},
  month = jun,
  year = {2014},
  note = {Featured cover article.},
  eprint = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/nn502360t},
  url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/nn502360t},
  month_numeric = {6}
}