High-Throughput Design of Biocompatible Enzyme-Based Hydrogel Microparticles with Autonomous Movement

Shauni Keller, Serena P. Teora, Guo Xun Hu, Marlies Nijemeisland, Daniela A. Wilson*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

    61 Citations (Scopus)


    Micro- and nanomotors and their use for biomedical applications have recently received increased attention. However, most designs use top-down methods to construct inorganic motors, which are labour-intensive and not suitable for biomedical use. Herein, we report a high-throughput design of an asymmetric hydrogel microparticle with autonomous movement by using a microfluidic chip to generate asymmetric, aqueous, two-phase-separating droplets consisting of poly(ethylene glycol) diacrylate (PEGDA) and dextran, with the biocatalyst placed in the PEGDA phase. The motor is propelled by enzyme-mediated decomposition of fuel. The speed of the motors is influenced by the roughness of the PEGDA surface after diffusion of dextran and was tuned by using higher molecular weight dextran. This roughness allows for easier pinning of oxygen bubbles and thus higher speeds of the motors. Pinning of bubbles occurs repeatedly at the same location, thereby resulting in constant circular or linear motion.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)9814-9817
    Number of pages4
    JournalAngewandte Chemie - International Edition
    Issue number31
    Publication statusPublished - 26 Jul 2018


    • active microparticles
    • enzymes
    • hydrogels
    • microfluidics
    • micromotors


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