Research report 2011 - Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems, Stuttgart site
From artificial flagella to medical microbots – the start of a "phantastic voyage"
Mikro-, Nano- und Molekulare Systeme
SummaryThere have been numerous speculations in scientific publications and the popular media about wirelessly controlled microrobots (microbots) navigating the human body. Such micro-agents could revolutionize minimally invasive medical procedures. Using physical vapor deposition we grow billions of micron-sized colloidal screw-propellers on a wafer. These chiral mesoscopic screws can be magnetized and moved through solution under computer control. The screw-propellers resemble artificial flagella and are the only ‘microbots’ to date that can be fully controlled in solution at micron length scales.