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.
- active microparticles