American Chemical Society
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Shape-Transformable, Fusible Rodlike Swimming Liquid Metal Nanomachine

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posted on 2018-09-19, 00:00 authored by Daolin Wang, Changyong Gao, Wei Wang, Mengmeng Sun, Bin Guo, Hui Xie, Qiang He
The T-1000 liquid metal terminator, which can transform and self-repair, represents a dream for decades that robots can fundamentally change our daily life. Until now, some large-scale liquid metal machines have been developed. However, there is no report on nanoscaled liquid metal machines and their biomedical applications. We describe here a shape-transformable and fusible rodlike swimming liquid metal nanomachine, based on the biocompatible and transformable liquid metal gallium. These nanomachines were prepared by a pressure-filter-template technology, and the diameter and length could be controlled by adjusting the nanoporous templates, filter time, and pressure. The as-prepared liquid gallium nanomotors display a core–shell nanorod structure composed of a liquid gallium core and solid gallium oxide shell. Upon exposure to an ultrasound field, the generated acoustic radiation force in the levitation plane can propel them to move autonomously. The liquid metal nanomachine can actively seek cancer cells and transform from a rod to a droplet after drilling into cells owing to the removal of gallium oxide layers in the acidic endosomes. These transformed nanomachines could fuse together inside cells and photothermally kill cancer cells under illumination of near-infrared light. Such acoustically propelled shape-transformable rodlike liquid metal nanomachines have great potential for biomedical applications.