Jump to main content
Jump to site search
PLANNED MAINTENANCE Close the message box

Scheduled maintenance work on Wednesday 27th March 2019 from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM (GMT).

During this time our website performance may be temporarily affected. We apologise for any inconvenience this might cause and thank you for your patience.

Issue 19, 2018
Previous Article Next Article

Metachronal motion of artificial magnetic cilia

Author affiliations


Organisms use hair-like cilia that beat in a metachronal fashion to actively transport fluid and suspended particles. Metachronal motion emerges due to a phase difference between beating cycles of neighboring cilia and appears as traveling waves propagating along ciliary carpet. In this work, we demonstrate biomimetic artificial cilia capable of metachronal motion. The cilia are micromachined magnetic thin filaments attached at one end to a substrate and actuated by a uniform rotating magnetic field. We show that the difference in magnetic cilium length controls the phase of the beating motion. We use this property to induce metachronal waves within a ciliary array and explore the effect of operation parameters on the wave motion. The metachronal motion in our artificial system is shown to depend on the magnetic and elastic properties of the filaments, unlike natural cilia, where metachronal motion arises due to fluid coupling. Our approach enables an easy integration of metachronal magnetic cilia in lab-on-a-chip devices for enhanced fluid and particle manipulations.

Graphical abstract: Metachronal motion of artificial magnetic cilia

Back to tab navigation

Supplementary files

Publication details

The article was received on 16 Mar 2018, accepted on 01 May 2018 and first published on 02 May 2018

Article type: Communication
DOI: 10.1039/C8SM00549D
Citation: Soft Matter, 2018,14, 3689-3693

  •   Request permissions

    Metachronal motion of artificial magnetic cilia

    S. Hanasoge, P. J. Hesketh and A. Alexeev, Soft Matter, 2018, 14, 3689
    DOI: 10.1039/C8SM00549D

Search articles by author