Science China Materials

, Volume 62, Issue 2, pp 236–244 | Cite as

Directional transport of centimeter-scale object on anisotropic microcilia surface under water

  • Yuefeng Wang (王岳峰)
  • Xiaodong Chen (陈晓东)
  • Kang Sun (孙康)
  • Ke Li (李珂)
  • Feilong Zhang (张飞龙)
  • Bing Dai (代兵)
  • Jun Shen (沈俊)
  • Guoqing Hu (胡国庆)
  • Shutao Wang (王树涛)Email author


Natural organisms such as cactus spines or trachea cilia have unique directional transport ability, owing to their anisotropic surface structures or asymmetric motion. However, most artificial interfacial materials are incapable of transporting macroscale object underwater. Herein, we report that anisotropic microcilia arrays, composed of cobalt fine powder and PDMS, can successfully transport the centimeter-scale hydrogel underwater by periodically asymmetric stroke under alternative magnetic field. Reciprocal collective stroke of anisotropic microcilia can generate directional flow, propelling the centimeter-scale hydrogel slice forward. Accompanying computational simulation results are consistent with the directional transport behaviors observed in our experiments. This study provides a clue to design artificial anisotropic interfacial materials with capability of transporting macroscale object at low Reynolds number.


macro-object transport anisotropic surface artificial micro-cilia arrays 



很多自然生物组织, 如猪笼草或气管纤毛, 由于具有各向异性结构或者能够不对称摆动, 而呈现出独特的定向输运功能. 但是大多仿生材料并不能在水下对宏观物体进行输运. 在这里, 我们报道了一种具有各向异性的磁响应性纤毛结构, 能够通过其周期性的不对称摆动,在水下驱动厘米尺度水凝胶. 在进一步的实验中, 我们观察到这种纤毛阵列的协同摆动能够产生液体的定向流动, 从而推动凝胶片向前运动. 同时, 相关的模拟证实了实验结果. 这种能够在水下进行定向物体输运的人造纤毛结构将在微流控、生物工程等领域中发挥重要作用.



This work is supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (21425314, 21434009, 21421061, 11402274 and 11772343), the Program for Changjiang Scholars and the Top- Notch Young Talents Program of China.

Supplementary material

40843_2018_9302_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (1.9 mb)
Directional Transport of Centi-scale Object on Anisotropic Microcilia Surface Under Water


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Copyright information

© Science China Press and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yuefeng Wang (王岳峰)
    • 1
    • 6
  • Xiaodong Chen (陈晓东)
    • 2
    • 6
  • Kang Sun (孙康)
    • 3
  • Ke Li (李珂)
    • 4
    • 6
  • Feilong Zhang (张飞龙)
    • 5
    • 6
  • Bing Dai (代兵)
    • 1
    • 6
  • Jun Shen (沈俊)
    • 4
    • 6
  • Guoqing Hu (胡国庆)
    • 2
    • 6
  • Shutao Wang (王树涛)
    • 1
    • 6
    Email author
  1. 1.CAS Key Laboratory of Bio-inspired Materials and Interfacial Science, CAS Center for Excellence in Nanoscience, Technical Institute of Physics and ChemistryChinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  2. 2.The State Key Laboratory of Nonlinear Mechanics, Institute of MechanicsChinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  3. 3.School of Engineering, Guangdong Provincial Key Laboratory of Sensor Technology and Biomedical InstrumentsSun Yat-sen UniversityGuangzhouChina
  4. 4.Technical Institute of Physics and ChemistryChinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  5. 5.Beijing National Laboratory for Molecular Sciences (BNLMS), Key Laboratory of Green Printing, Institute of ChemistryChinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  6. 6.University of Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina

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