Scalable fabrication of ANT-functionalised 3D CNT microstructures for light-responsive artificial cilia

Lead Research Organisation: University of Cambridge
Department Name: Physics


Artificial cilia forests, composed of carbon nanotube (CNT) pillars functionalised with Au and poly(N-isopropylacrylamide) (PNIPAM), will be designed and fabricated such that they are capable of light-responsive actuation. Hybrid systems of Au nanoparticles and PNIPAM, which is a thermoresponsive polymer, behave as light-controlled actuated nanotransducers (ANTs) by using the Au plasmonic resonances to induce localised heating. ANTs have previously been shown to have fast response times (<1s), a switchable refractive index, and are capable of generating >1nN of force. Capillary formation of CNTs and strain engineering of CNTs have previously been used to fabricate complex CNT structures with remarkable uniformity over large areas, suggesting that these techniques would be suitable for the fabrication of the cilia-like scaffold upon which the ANTs would be appended.
In biology, cilia arrays are ubiquitous, with functions such as cell transport and surface cleaning (Figure 2(b)). These essential abilities inspire the fabrication of these ANT-CNT artificial cilia arrays, which have applications in areas such as biomimetic surfaces, artificial peristalsis, biosensors, and self-cleaning surfaces.


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
EP/S022953/1 01/10/2019 31/03/2028
2338185 Studentship EP/S022953/1 01/10/2018 30/09/2022 Aoife Dorathea Gregg