NOV 06, 2019 6:00 AM PST

Radioactive Spill? Self-propelled Microbots to the Rescue

WRITTEN BY: Daniel Duan

Scientists have been searching for an effective method to remove radioactive elements in industrial wastewater and accidental spill in aquatic environments, to support and boost the sustainability of nuclear plants.

A team of Czech researchers reported in a recent publication that they have developed microscaled, self-propelled robots that can extract radioactive uranium species in water with high efficiency.

Metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) are compounds that have metal ions core coordinated to organic ligands. Due to their multi-dimensional structures, MOFs are considered an ideal vehicle to trap heavy metal particles within their spacies inner structure.

The Czech group built their MOF robots at 1/15 the thickness of a hair, gave a motor and a magnet. These self-mobilized cleaners can propel themselves in liquids, actively soaking up uranium, and can be easily collected once the cleanup is finished.

This study is published in the journal ACS Nano.

Source: ACS 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.
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