Skip to main page content
Access keys NCBI Homepage MyNCBI Homepage Main Content Main Navigation
Review
, 3 (1), 4-9

Can Man-Made Nanomachines Compete With Nature Biomotors?

Affiliations
Review

Can Man-Made Nanomachines Compete With Nature Biomotors?

Joseph Wang. ACS Nano.

Abstract

Biological nanomotors have evolved over million years to perform specific tasks with high efficiency. The remarkable performance of biomotors is inspiring scientists to create synthetic nanomachines that mimic the function of these amazing natural systems. This review discusses the challenges and opportunities facing artificial nanomotors and summarizes recent progress toward the development of such man-made nanomachines. Particular attention is given to catalytic nanowire motors propelled by the electrocatalytic decomposition of a chemical fuel. While artificial nanomotors pale compared to nature biomotors, recent advances indicate their great potential to perform diverse applications and demanding tasks. Such advances include significant improvements in the velocity, motion control, cargo-towing force, and lifetime of such catalytic nanomotors. As a result, artificial nanomotors can have velocities as large as 100 body lengths per second and relatively high powers to transport a "heavy" cargo within complex microchannel networks. Despite this impressive progress, man-made nanomachines still lack the efficiency, functionality, and force of their biological counterparts and are limited to a very narrow range of environments and fuels. Improved understanding of the behavior of catalytic nanomotors will facilitate the design of highly efficient and powerful artificial nanomachines for complex operations in diverse realistic environments, leading to practical nanoscale applications in the not-so-distant future.

Similar articles

See all similar articles

Cited by 36 PubMed Central articles

  • Micro-/Nanorobots Propelled by Oscillating Magnetic Fields
    H Yu et al. Micromachines (Basel) 9 (11). PMID 30715039. - Review
    Recent strides in micro- and nanomanufacturing technologies have sparked the development of micro-/nanorobots with enhanced power and functionality. Due to the advantages …
  • Dual-Fuel-Driven Bactericidal Micromotor
    Y Ge et al. Nanomicro Lett 8 (2), 157-164. PMID 30460276.
    In this paper, we report fabrication of the bimetallic Janus microsphere, a magnesium microsphere with a silver surface coating, through thermal evaporation technique. Be …
  • A Viscosity-Based Model for Bubble-Propelled Catalytic Micromotors
    Z Wang et al. Micromachines (Basel) 8 (7). PMID 30400389.
    Micromotors have shown significant potential for diverse future applications. However, a poor understanding of the propelling mechanism hampers its further applications. …
  • Tubular Micro/Nanomotors: Propulsion Mechanisms, Fabrication Techniques and Applications
    F Zha et al. Micromachines (Basel) 9 (2). PMID 30393354. - Review
    Micro/nanomotors are self-propelled machines that can convert various energy sources into autonomous movement. With the great advances of nanotechnology, Micro/Nanomotors …
  • Light-Powered Micro/Nanomotors
    H Chen et al. Micromachines (Basel) 9 (2). PMID 30393317. - Review
    Designed micro/nanomotors are micro/nanoscale machines capable of autonomous motion in fluids, which have been emerging in recent decades owing to their great potential f …
See all "Cited by" articles

Publication types

LinkOut - more resources

Feedback