Swarming Magnetically Navigated Indigo-Based Hydrophobic Microrobots for Oil Removal

Anna Jancik-Prochazkova, Carmen C. Mayorga-Martinez, Jan Vyskočil, Martin Pumera

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Removal of oil is very important for environmental remediation when considering its negative impacts on living organisms and on the quality of water, groundwater, and soil. Here, we report on the application of hydrophobic magnetic hydrogen-bonded organic pigment-based microrobots for oil removal. The microrobots can be wirelessly navigated in a transversal rotating magnetic field, with full control of their trajectory. In addition, the velocity of magnetic microrobots can be easily controlled by changing the frequency. Due to their hydrophobic nature, the microrobots were able to enter droplets of spilled oil. Consequently, the navigation of the oil droplets was enabled in a magnetic field. Moreover, the microrobots captured within the oil droplets exhibited a swarm-like behavior; they collectively navigated toward further oil droplets that were collected and transferred to a desired location. This concept does not require the use of any additional fuel or surfactants, which is crucial for large-scale oil pollution treatment. Therefore, we believe that these microrobot swarms have great potential in remediating aqueous environments.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)45545-45552
Number of pages8
JournalACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
Issue number40
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Oct 12

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the project Advanced Functional Nanorobots (Reg. No. CZ.02.1.01/0.0/0.0/15_003/0000444 financed by the EFRR). CzechNanoLab project LM2018110 funded by MEYS CR is gratefully acknowledged for the financial support of the measurements at CEITEC Nano Research Infrastructure.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 American Chemical Society. All rights reserved.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Materials Science(all)


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