Controlled propulsion of artificial magnetic nanostructured propellers

Nano Lett. 2009 Jun;9(6):2243-5. doi: 10.1021/nl900186w.


For biomedical applications, such as targeted drug delivery and microsurgery, it is essential to develop a system of swimmers that can be propelled wirelessly in fluidic environments with good control. Here, we report the construction and operation of chiral colloidal propellers that can be navigated in water with micrometer-level precision using homogeneous magnetic fields. The propellers are made via nanostructured surfaces and can be produced in large numbers. The nanopropellers can carry chemicals, push loads, and act as local probes in rheological measurements.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Colloids
  • Drug Delivery Systems
  • Glass / chemistry*
  • Magnetics
  • Nanostructures / chemistry*
  • Nanotechnology / methods*
  • Rheology
  • Rotation


  • Colloids