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Enhanced Diffusion of Glucose-Fueled Janus Particles

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posted on 10.11.2015, 00:00 by Philipp Schattling, Bo Thingholm, Brigitte Städler
The search for biocompatible fuels to induce autonomous motion in particles is a long-standing challenge in the field of nanorobotics. Hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) is the most utilized fuel for micro/nanomotors, although its cytotoxicity impedes its application in a biomedical context. Biocompatibility not only involves the adjustment of the motor, which should convert the energy from a stable compound into locomotion, but also requires new fabrication methods and the generation of nontoxic products resulting from fuel consumption. To address this challenge, we present the assembly and enhanced diffusion of sub-micron-sized Janus particles that feature one hemisphere decorated with the enzyme pair glucose oxidase and catalase and the use of glucose as fuel. It is found that the colloids exhibit glucose-concentration-dependent enhanced diffusion behavior, thus bringing the concept of nanomachines closer to use in biomedical applications.