MagnetoSperm Microbots: Inspired By Sperm, Run By Magnetic Fields

Nature’s designs have always been more successful, foolproof and energy efficient that most manmade designs. Humans have always sought inspiration from these designs to build machines and this time this time they have sought inspiration from sperm. A team of researchers from University of Twente in Netherlands and German University in Egypt have developed microbots whose design has been inspired from sperms and can be navigated with the help of weak magnetic fields. Titled MagnetoSperm, these microbots measure 322 micron long. These microbots were made by spin coating a five-micron thin layer of SU-8 polymer on a silicon support wafer. The heads were then coated with cobalt-nickel and the tails was left uncoated.

Once the team had the design worked out they managed to downsize the robot even more by removing power and navigation system from MagnetoSperm. The work of powering and navigating the MagnetoSperm was done by an oscillating magnetic field of less than five militesla, which is equivalent to the strength of a refrigerator magnet. This induces a magnetic torque on the head causing the flagellum to oscillate and propel the microbot.


According to the research team, MagnetoSperm can have an extensive implementation in biomedical tasks such as drug delivery, in vitro fertilization, cell sorting and cleaning of clogged arteries and more. In the future they want to scale down the MagnetoSperm even more by creating a magnetic nanofiber that can be used in place of the existing larger flagellum.

To know more about the MagnetoRobot, you can read the Here Come the "Brobots" | American Institute of Physics and the #-Link-Snipped-# published in the in the journal Applied Physics Letters and its coverage on MagnetoSperm: A tiny swimming robot inspired by human sperm - Los Angeles Times.


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