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Bioinspired claw-engaged and biolubricated swimming microrobots creating active retention in blood vessels

Li, T., Yu, S., Sun, B. , Li, Y., Wang, X., Pan, Y., Song, C., Ren, Y., Zhang, Z., Grattan, K. T. V. ORCID: 0000-0003-2250-3832, Wu, Z. & Zhao, J. (2023). Bioinspired claw-engaged and biolubricated swimming microrobots creating active retention in blood vessels. Science Advances, 9(18), eadg4501. doi: 10.1126/sciadv.adg4501


Swimming microrobots guided in the circulation system offer considerable promise in precision medicine but currently suffer from problems such as limited adhesion to blood vessels, intensive blood flow, and immune system clearance-all reducing the targeted interaction. A swimming microrobot design with clawed geometry, a red blood cell (RBC) membrane-camouflaged surface, and magnetically actuated retention is discussed, allowing better navigation and inspired by the tardigrade's mechanical claw engagement, coupled to an RBC membrane coating, to minimize blood flow impact. Using clinical intravascular optical coherence tomography in vivo, the microrobots' activity and dynamics in a rabbit jugular vein was monitored, illustrating very effective magnetic propulsion, even against a flow of ~2.1 cm/s, comparable with rabbit blood flow characteristics. The equivalent friction coefficient with magnetically actuated retention is elevated ~24-fold, compared to magnetic microspheres, achieving active retention at 3.2 cm/s, for >36 hours, showing considerable promise across biomedical applications.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: Copyright © 2023 The Authors, some rights reserved; exclusive licensee American Association for the Advancement of Science. No claim to original U.S. Government Works. Distributed under a Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial License 4.0 (CC BY-NC).
Subjects: R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
T Technology > TK Electrical engineering. Electronics Nuclear engineering
Departments: School of Science & Technology > Engineering
Text - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial.

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