Harnessing synthetic cilia to regulate motion of microparticles
Functional synthetic cilia lining solid surfaces could potentially yield a unique approach for regulating transport processes at interfaces. We use computer simulations to probe how non-motile and actuated cilia can be harnessed to control the motion of microscopic particles suspended in a Newtonian fluid. We show that biomimetic cilia can be arranged to create hydrodynamic currents that can either direct particles towards the ciliated surface or expel them away, thereby modifying the effective interactions between solid surfaces and particulates. In addition to revealing new approaches for regulating the microscale particle transport, our findings point to a new strategy for creating functional materials that employ active and responsive synthetic cilia.