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      Geometric constraints and optimization in externally driven propulsion

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      Science Robotics
      American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)

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          Abstract

          Micro/nanomachines capable of propulsion through fluidic environments provide diverse opportunities in important biomedical applications. In this paper, we present a theoretical study on micromotors steered through liquid by an external rotating magnetic field. A purely geometric tight upper bound on the propulsion speed normalized with field frequency, known as propulsion efficiency, , for an arbitrarily shaped object is derived. Using this bound, we estimate the maximum propulsion efficiency of previously reported random magnetic aggregates. We introduce a complementary definition of the propulsion efficiency, *, that ranks propellers according to their maximal speed in body lengths per unit time and that appears to be preferable over the standard definition in a search for fastest machines. Using a bead-based hydrodynamic model combined with genetic algorithms, we determine that *-optimal propeller deviates strongly from the bioinspired slim helix and has a surprising chubby skew-symmetric shape. It is also shown that optimized propellers with preprogrammed shape are substantially more efficient than random magnetic aggregates. We anticipate that the results of the present study will provide guidance toward prospective experimental design of more efficient magnetic micro/nanomachines.

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          Matrix analysis

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            Controlled propulsion of artificial magnetic nanostructured propellers.

            For biomedical applications, such as targeted drug delivery and microsurgery, it is essential to develop a system of swimmers that can be propelled wirelessly in fluidic environments with good control. Here, we report the construction and operation of chiral colloidal propellers that can be navigated in water with micrometer-level precision using homogeneous magnetic fields. The propellers are made via nanostructured surfaces and can be produced in large numbers. The nanopropellers can carry chemicals, push loads, and act as local probes in rheological measurements.
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              Magnetic helical micromachines: fabrication, controlled swimming, and cargo transport.

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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Science Robotics
                Sci. Robot.
                American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)
                2470-9476
                April 18 2018
                April 18 2018
                April 18 2018
                : 3
                : 17
                : eaas8713
                Article
                10.1126/scirobotics.aas8713
                33141739
                bf83f720-1d80-496d-8cdb-8248564afc22
                © 2018

                http://www.sciencemag.org/about/science-licenses-journal-article-reuse

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