AUG 28, 2018 7:00 AM PDT

Microscopic Swarms Formed by Magnetic Nanoparticles

WRITTEN BY: Daniel Duan

Swarming is a collective behavior of multiple bodies, organized in a synchronized fashion. Humans have managed to imitate animals swarm-like behaviors, such as bird flocking and fish schooling, by developing self-organized small robots and drones. But what a group of researchers has recently achieved pushed the biomimicry to a new height.

According to a report in the journal Nature Communications, the biomedical engineers and robotic experts at the Chinese University of Hong Kong came up with a method to manipulate colloidal magnetic nanoparticles using oscillating magnetic fields, creating ribbon-like micro-swarms. Through alternating the field's parameters, the researchers managed to group and ungroup tens of thousands of nanoparticles, direct the swarming body to any directions in its aqueous environment, and even guide them through obstacles.  

The ultimate goal behind their work (on top of playing up a good trick), is to develop a solution for biomedical applications such as targeted delivery of medications and diagnostic agents. Moreover, they believe that the ribbon-like patterning of micro-swarm can provide inspiration for microfabrication and micromanipulation.

Source: Nature Video via Youtube

About the Author
  • Graduated with a bachelor degree in Pharmaceutical Science and a master degree in neuropharmacology, Daniel is a radiopharmaceutical and radiobiology expert based in Ottawa, Canada. With years of experience in biomedical R&D, Daniel is very into writing. He is constantly fascinated by what's happening in the world of science. He hopes to capture the public's interest and promote scientific literacy with his trending news articles. The recurring topics in his Chemistry & Physics trending news section include alternative energy, material science, theoretical physics, medical imaging, and green chemistry.
You May Also Like
MAR 02, 2020
Space & Astronomy
MAR 02, 2020
Does the Earth Have a Second Moon?
If you’ve been paying attention to the headlines as of late, then you might’ve caught wind about the Earth h ...
MAR 08, 2020
Space & Astronomy
MAR 08, 2020
2020 Has a Lot of Martian Missions in Store
Space agencies typically send missions to Mars once every several years, depending on the need for scientific exploratio ...
APR 26, 2020
Cell & Molecular Biology
APR 26, 2020
Researchers Remotely Trigger the Release of Hormones
It may one day be possible to treat hormone-related diseases using this method.
MAY 05, 2020
Space & Astronomy
MAY 05, 2020
How Much Do You Know About the Moon?
There are literally dozens upon dozens of natural satellites orbiting the planets in our solar system, but only one of t ...
MAY 07, 2020
Chemistry & Physics
MAY 07, 2020
What can we learn from catnip?
Findings from a recent study published in Science Advances report new insights on the evolution of a commonly enjoyed pl ...
MAY 24, 2020
Chemistry & Physics
MAY 24, 2020
The debate on using oilfield produced water for crop irrigation continues
In an attempt to determine whether it is safe to use oilfield produced water for crop irrigation, a team of researchers ...
Loading Comments...