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Magnetic Biohybrid Vesicles Transported by an Internal Propulsion Mechanism

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posted on 08.08.2018, 00:00 by A. Mateos-Maroto, A. Guerrero-Martínez, R. G. Rubio, F. Ortega, F. Martínez-Pedrero
Some biological microorganisms can crawl or swim due to coordinated motions of their cytoskeleton or the flagella located inside their bodies, which push the cells forward through intracellular forces. To date, there is no demonstration of synthetic systems propelling at low Reynolds number via the precise actuation of the material confined within an enclosing lipid membrane. Here, we report lipid vesicles and other more complex self-assembled biohybrid structures able to propel due to the advection flows generated by the actuated rotation of the superparamagnetic particles they contain. The proposed swimming and release strategies, based on cooperative hydrodynamic mechanisms and near-infrared laser pulse-triggered destabilization of the phospholipid membranes, open new possibilities for the on-command transport of minute quantities of drugs, fluid or nano-objects. The lipid membranes protect the confined substances from the outside environment during transportation, thus enabling them to work in physiological conditions.