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Motoring along on a microscale
August 2019
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BATON ROUGE, La.—Louisiana State University (LSU) shared news recently of an article by Assistant Professor of Chemical Engineering Bhuvnesh Bharti that was published in Nature Communications. The article in question focused on “microbots,” specifically methods for programming such synthetic objects on a microscale. Ideally, such objects could be designed as autonomous vehicles that could be used for biomedical procedures and even noninvasive surgery.
 
“We add a metal patch to the spherical particle in order to instruct it how to move in the electric field. We use the shape of the metal patch as a primitive encoding medium—different patch shapes encode different motions in the field. This paper shows that the geometry of the metal patch can be a useful encoding medium for programming different types of complex motions in self-propelled colloids,” Columbia University Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering Kyle Bishop explained.

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