Millions of years of plant evolution have inspired scientists who have incorporated, for the first time, corkscrew structures from plants into a new kind of helical "microswimmer."
The low-cost development, which appears in ACS' journal Nano Letters, could be used on a large scale in targeted drug delivery and other applications
Joseph Wang and colleagues point out that nanomotors have tremendous potential in diverse applications from delivering drugs to precise locations in the body to making biosensors. To realize this potential, scientists have recently taken inspiration from microorganisms that have tiny, hair-like structures that they whip around to propel themselves. But copying these nature-engineered nanomotors requires advanced instruments and costly processing techniques that make them a challenge to produce on a large scale. To address these issues of practicality, Wang's group also drew inspiration from nature, but turned to plants instead.