Cilia-inspired flexible arrays for intelligent transport of viscoelastic microspheres

Shuang Ben, Jun Tai, Han Ma, Yun Peng, Yuan Zhang, Dongliang Tian, Kesong Liu, Lei Jiang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

51 Citations (Scopus)


Anisotropic microstructures are widely used by being cleverly designed to achieve important functions. Mammals' respiratory tract is filled with dense cilia that rhythmically swing back and forth in a unidirectional wave to propel mucus and harmful substances out of the lung through larynx. Inspired by the ciliary structure and motion mechanism of the respiratory tract systems, a viscoelastic microsphere transporting strategy based on integration of airway cilium-like structure and magnetically responsive flexible conical arrays is demonstrated. Under external magnetic fields, the viscoelastic microspheres can be directionally and continuously transported alongside the swing of the cilia-like arrays that contain magnetic particles. This work provides a promising route for the design of advanced medical applications in directional transport of microspheres, drug delivery systems, ciliary dyskinesia treating, and self-cleaning without liquid.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1706666
Number of pages7
JournalAdvanced Functional Materials
Issue number16
Publication statusPublished - 18 Apr 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • cilia-inspired materials
  • responsive materials
  • smart transporting
  • viscoelastic microspheres

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