Artificial Cilia

Cilia are arrays of hairs that are often used in nature for propulsion or for the transport of liquid. In this project we mimic such biological systems using surface-attached polymer network architectures.


Figure 1: Flap array as a biomimetic approach toward artificial cilia

Magnetic artificial cilia are fabricated from photoreactive copolymer precursors filled with magnetic nanoparticles by a new photolithographic process. Two different crosslinkers and UV-radiation of two different wavelengths are used to generate arrays of planar magnetically actuatable rubber flaps (Figure 1). The cilia are integrated into a microfluidic channel and operated in water using a rotating permanent magnet. Snapshots of one beating cycle are shown in Figure 2.


 Figure 2: Micrographs of a beating cilium during magnetic actuation.



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