Recent advances in anisotropic magnetic colloids: realization, assembly and applications
This perspective article will give an overview of recent experimental results related to the realization and use of anisotropic magnetic colloids, i.e. microscopic particles having the shape, composition or structured surface which set a preferred magnetization direction. The possibility of remotely controlling these soft matter building blocks via external fields makes them ideal for a wide range of applications, from their use as active microrheological probes to infer the viscoelastic properties of complex fluids to their implementation as active systems in microfluidic devices. This article will also review the recent use of these anisotropic units as field driven or guided propellers, which can be magnetically moved or guided in a fluid medium, thus being potentially useful in precise single-particle drug delivery operations.