MagnetoSperm: A microrobot that navigates using weak magnetic fields

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    In this work, a propulsion system similar in motion to a sperm-cell is investigated. This system consists of a structure resembling a sperm-cell with a magnetic head and a flexible tail of 42 μm and 280 μm in length, respectively. The thickness, length, and width of this structure are 5.2 μm, 322 μm, and 42 μm, respectively. The magnetic head includes a 200 nm-thick cobalt-nickel layer. The cobalt-nickel layer provides a dipole moment and allows the flexible structure to align along oscillating weak (less than 5mT) magnetic field lines, and hence generates a propulsion thrust force that overcomes the drag force. The frequency response of this system shows that the propulsion mechanism allows for swimming at an average speed of 158 ± 32 μm/s at alternating weak magnetic field of 45 Hz. In addition, we experimentally demonstrate controlled steering of the flexible structure towards reference positions.
    Original languageUndefined
    Pages (from-to)223701
    Number of pages4
    JournalApplied physics letters
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2 Jun 2014


    • EWI-25730
    • IR-94249
    • METIS-309899

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