Controlled Multidirectional Particle Transportation by Magnetic Artificial Cilia

Shuaizhong Zhang, Rongjing Zhang, Ye Wang, Patrick R Onck, Jaap M J den Toonder

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Manipulation of particles in a controllable manner is highly desirable in many applications. Inspired by biological cilia, this article experimentally and numerically demonstrates a versatile particle transportation platform consisting of arrays of magnetic artificial cilia (MAC) actuated by a rotating magnet. By performing a tilted conical motion, the MAC are capable of transporting particles on their tips, along designated directions that can be fully controlled by the externally applied magnetic field, in both liquid and air, at high resolution (particle precision), with varying speeds and for a range of particle sizes. Moreover, the underlying mechanism of the controlled particle transportation is studied in depth by combining experiments with numerical simulations. The results show that the adhesion and friction between the particle and the cilia are essential ingredients of the mechanism underlying the multidirectional transportation. This work offers an advanced solution to controllably transport particles along designated paths in any direction over a surface, which has potential applications in diverse fields including lab-on-a-chip devices, in vitro biomedical sciences, and self-cleaning and antifouling.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)10313-10323
Number of pages11
JournalAcs Nano
Issue number8
Early online date4-Aug-2020
Publication statusPublished - 25-Aug-2020

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