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Chem.Soc.Rev. 2020, 49(10), 3211-3230

Coordinated behaviors of artificial micro/nanomachines: from mutual interactions to interactions with the environment

The coordinated behaviors of living organisms in nature have inspired the design of artificial micro/nanomachines that mimics biological methods of group motion and responses to the environment. Designing and developing the coordinated behavior of micro/nanomachines will bring benefits of synchronized operation, multitasking, and adaptability to a wide spectrum of environments. Similar to macroscale organization in biological systems, we can postulate that interactions between neighbors follow simple rules and that their capabilities to sense and respond to the environment matters for achieving coordinated behavior among micro/nanomachines. In this review, we focus on the efforts made toward the coordinated behavior of micro/nanomachines from both individual–individual and individual–environment interactions. The possible interactions that might be useful to induce coordinated behavior among micro/nanomachines are categorized and illustrated. By highlighting the progress toward designing and studying these interactions, we anticipate insight into the design of artificial micro/nanomachines capable of behaving in a coordinated manner.

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