Artificial bacterial flagella: Fabrication and magnetic control

Li Zhang, Jake J. Abbott, Lixin Dong, Bradley E. Kratochvil, Dominik Bell, Bradley J. Nelson
2009 Applied Physics Letters  
Inspired by the natural design of bacterial flagella, we report artificial bacterial flagella ͑ABF͒ that have a comparable shape and size to their organic counterparts and can swim in a controllable fashion using weak applied magnetic fields. The helical swimmer consists of a helical tail resembling the dimensions of a natural flagellum and a thin soft-magnetic "head" on one end. The swimming locomotion of ABF is precisely controlled by three orthogonal electromagnetic coil pairs. Microsphere
more » ... airs. Microsphere manipulation is performed, and the thrust force generated by an ABF is analyzed. ABF swimmers represent the first demonstration of microscopic artificial swimmers that use helical propulsion. Self-propelled devices such as these are of interest in fundamental research and for biomedical applications.
doi:10.1063/1.3079655 fatcat:6tvdkteanbbk7oa3y4qdvssiya