Projects

Trapping micromotors with microfluidic chips

We demonstrate that catalytic micromotors can be trapped in microfluidic chips containing chevron and heart-shaped structures. Despite the challenge presented by the reduced size of the traps, microfluidic chips with different trapping geometries can be fabricated via replica moulding. We prove that these microfluidic chips can capture micromotors without the need of any external mechanism to control their motion. This work was carried out in collaboration with the Leibniz Institute for Solid State and Materials Research Dresden in Germany.

Motion of micromotors in blood

We prove that catalytic micromotors can out-swim high complex media composed of red blood cells and serum. The catalytic microjets can be activated at physiological temperature and self-propel in diluted solutions of blood samples using microfluidic chips. This work was carried out in collaboration with the Leibniz Institute for Solid State and Materials Research Dresden in Germany.

Cleaning Polluted Water

We describe the use of catalytically self-propelled micromotors for degrading organic pollutants in water via the Fenton oxidation process. In the present work, we combine the motion given by the generation of O2-bubbles in the internal Pt layer with the useful function of the external Fe as active material that enables the degradation of organic pollutants. Consequently, Fe/Pt micromotors boost the Fenton oxidation process without applying external energy, and complete degradation of organic pollutants could be achieved. The high efficiency of the oxidation of organic pollutants achieved by the Fe/Pt catalytic micromotors reported here is of importance for the design of new and faster water treatments, such as the decontamination of organic compounds in wastewaters and industrial effluents. This work was carried out in collaboration with the Leibniz Institute for Solid State and Materials Research Dresden in Germany.

 
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