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Nat Commun. 2018 Aug 21;9(1):3260. doi: 10.1038/s41467-018-05749-6.

Ultra-extensible ribbon-like magnetic microswarm.

Yu J1, Wang B1,2, Du X1,2,3, Wang Q1, Zhang L4,5,6,7.

Author information

1
Department of Mechanical and Automation Engineering, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, N.T., Hong Kong, 999077, China.
2
Department of Biomedical Engineering, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, N.T., Hong Kong, 999077, China.
3
Chow Yuk Ho Technology Centre for Innovative Medicine, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, N.T., Hong Kong, 999077, China.
4
Department of Mechanical and Automation Engineering, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, N.T., Hong Kong, 999077, China. lizhang@mae.cuhk.edu.hk.
5
Department of Biomedical Engineering, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, N.T., Hong Kong, 999077, China. lizhang@mae.cuhk.edu.hk.
6
Chow Yuk Ho Technology Centre for Innovative Medicine, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, N.T., Hong Kong, 999077, China. lizhang@mae.cuhk.edu.hk.
7
T-Stone Robotics Institute, the Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, N.T., Hong Kong, 999077, China. lizhang@mae.cuhk.edu.hk.

Abstract

Various types of structures self-organised by animals exist in nature, such as bird flocks and insect swarms, which stem from the local communications of vast numbers of limited individuals. Through the designing of algorithms and wireless communication, robotic systems can emulate some complex swarm structures in nature. However, creating a swarming robotic system at the microscale that embodies functional collective behaviours remains a challenge. Herein, we report a strategy to reconfigure paramagnetic nanoparticles into ribbon-like swarms using oscillating magnetic fields, and the mechanisms are analysed. By tuning the input fields, the microswarm can perform a reversible elongation with an extremely high aspect ratio, as well as splitting and merging. Moreover, we investigate the behaviours of the microswarm when it encounters solid boundaries, and demonstrate that under navigation, the colloidal microswarm passes through confined channel networks towards multiple targets with high access rates and high swarming pattern stability.

PMID:
30131487
PMCID:
PMC6104072
DOI:
10.1038/s41467-018-05749-6
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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