Micromotors as “Motherships”:A Concept for the Transport, Delivery, and Enzymatic Release of Molecular Cargo via Nanoparticles
Nano/micromotors based on biodegradable and biocompatible polymers represent a progressively developing group of self-propelled artificial devices capable of delivering biologically active compounds to target sites. The majority of these machines are micron sized, and biologically active compounds are simply attached to their surface. Micron-sized devices cannot enter cells, but they provide rapid velocity, which scales down with the size of the device; nanosized devices can enter cells, but their velocity is negligible. An advanced hierarchical design of the micro/nanodevices is an important tool in the development of functional biocompatible transport systems and their implementation in real in vivo applications. In this work, we demonstrate a “mothership” concept, whereby self-propelled microrobots transport smaller cargo-carrying nanorobots that are released by enzymatic degradation.