The cilium is one of biology's most basic functional nanostructures, present on nearly every cell and increasingly realized as vital to many aspects of human health. A fundamental reason for the ubiquity of cilia is their ability to effectively interact with fluids at the microscale, where the Reynolds number is low and thus inertia is irrelevant. This ability makes cilia an attractive and popular candidate for an engineered biomimic with potential applications in microfluidics and sensing. In addition, biological ciliated systems are difficult to study for many reasons, and so I demonstrate how a functional biomimetic system can also serve as a model platform for highly controlled studies of biologically relevant, cilia-driven hydrodynamics. Using the template-based microfabrication of a magnetic nanoparticle/polymer composite, I fabricate arrays of magnetically actuated biomimetic cilia at the scale of their biological analogues. I will discuss this fabrication technique and the magnetic actuation of these arrays to mimic the beat of biological cilia. I also report on the nature of the fluid flows driven by the cilia beat, and demonstrate how these cilia arrays can simultaneously generate long-range fluid transport and mixing in distinct fluid flow regimes. Finally, I present these results within the context of canonical hydrodynamics problems and discuss the implications for biological systems, such as the motile cilia recently discovered in the embryonic node.
- Pub Date:
- Engineering, Biomedical;Nanotechnology