Issue 13, 2022

Collective guiding of acoustically propelled nano- and microparticles


One of the most important potential applications of motile nano- and microdevices is targeted drug delivery. To realize this, biocompatible particles that can be guided collectively towards a target inside a patient's body are required. Acoustically propelled nano- and microparticles constitute a promising candidate for such biocompatible, artificial motile particles. The main remaining obstacle to targeted drug delivery by motile nano- and microdevices is to also achieve a reliable and biocompatible method for guiding them collectively to their target. Here, we propose such a method. As we confirm by computer simulations, it allows for the remote guiding of large numbers of acoustically propelled particles to a prescribed target by combining a space- and time-dependent acoustic field and a time-dependent magnetic field. The method works without detailed knowledge about the particle positions and for arbitrary initial particle distributions. With these features, it paves the way for the future application of motile particles as vehicles for targeted drug delivery in nanomedicine.

Graphical abstract: Collective guiding of acoustically propelled nano- and microparticles

Article information

Article type
03 Jan 2022
05 May 2022
First published
14 May 2022
This article is Open Access
Creative Commons BY license

Nanoscale Adv., 2022,4, 2844-2856

Collective guiding of acoustically propelled nano- and microparticles

T. Nitschke, J. Stenhammar and R. Wittkowski, Nanoscale Adv., 2022, 4, 2844 DOI: 10.1039/D2NA00007E

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