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Nanoscale 2014, 6(19), 11359-11363

Tissue cell assisted fabrication of tubular catalytic platinum microengines

We report a facile platform for mass production of robust self-propelled tubular microengines. Tissue cells extracted from fruits of banana and apple, Musa acuminata and Malus domestica, are used as the support on which a thin platinum film is deposited by means of physical vapor deposition. Upon sonication of the cells/Pt-coated substrate in water, microscrolls of highly uniform sizes are spontaneously formed. Tubular microengines fabricated with the fruit cell assisted method exhibit a fast motion of similar to 100 bodylengths per s (similar to 1 mm s(-1)). An extremely simple and affordable platform for mass production of the micromotors is crucial for the envisioned swarms of thousands and millions of autonomous micromotors performing biomedical and environmental remediation tasks.

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