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Magnetic Propulsion of Microswimmers with DNA-Based Flagellar Bundles

2016

Article

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We show that DNA-based self-assembly can serve as a general and flexible tool to construct artificial flagella of several micrometers in length and only tens of nanometers in diameter. By attaching the DNA flagella to biocompatible magnetic microparticles, we provide a proof of concept demonstration of hybrid structures that, when rotated in an external magnetic field, propel by means of a flagellar bundle, similar to self-propelling peritrichous bacteria. Our theoretical analysis predicts that flagellar bundles that possess a length-dependent bending stiffness should exhibit a superior swimming speed compared to swimmers with a single appendage. The DNA self-assembly method permits the realization of these improved flagellar bundles in good agreement with our quantitative model. DNA flagella with well-controlled shape could fundamentally increase the functionality of fully biocompatible nanorobots and extend the scope and complexity of active materials.

Author(s): Maier, Alexander M. and Weig, Cornelius and Oswald, Peter and Frey, Erwin and Fischer, Peer and Liedl, Tim
Journal: Nano Letters
Volume: 16
Number (issue): 2
Pages: 906-910
Year: 2016
Month: January

Department(s): Micro, Nano, and Molecular Systems
Bibtex Type: Article (article)

DOI: 10.1021/acs.nanolett.5b03716
State: Published

BibTex

@article{2016maier,
  title = {Magnetic Propulsion of Microswimmers with DNA-Based Flagellar Bundles},
  author = {Maier, Alexander M. and Weig, Cornelius and Oswald, Peter and Frey, Erwin and Fischer, Peer and Liedl, Tim},
  journal = {Nano Letters},
  volume = {16},
  number = {2},
  pages = {906-910},
  month = jan,
  year = {2016},
  month_numeric = {1}
}