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Engineering Biohybrid MicroRobots from Magnetic Swimmers and S-layers

Engineering Biohybrid MicroRobots from Magnetic Swimmers and S-layers

Objective

Biohybrid MicroRobots (BMRs) are conceptual microscopic robotic devices that combine synthetic and biological components and can be remote controlled to a specific destination, attach to a target and perform a bespoke biochemical operation at nanoscale precision. Within the 5-year Microrobots project, I intend to develop innovative BMRs by combining magnetic swimmers (MSs) with prokaryotic S-layers (SLs). MSs are microscopic devices that consist of two flexibly linked metallic beads with different magnetic properties and can be remote controlled through liquid media, simply by applying oscillating magnetic fields. SLs are highly stable 2-dimensional protein arrays that form resilient cell wall components in archaea and bacteria and can be genetically modified and reassembled on inorganic surfaces. I will introduce affinity tags into selected archaeal and bacterial SLs and reassemble them on the surfaces of MSs. This will coat MSs with unique affinity matrices, on which bioactive molecules can be conjugated at regular arrays, high density and defined distance. Through this strategy, I will generate BMRs that can be equipped with any bioactive functionality provided by nature, such as adhesive filaments, enzymes, antibodies, reporters, drug cargo or any other thinkable functional molecule. The BMRs that I will develop will elegantly miniaturise robotics and enable us to deliver bioactivity at nanometre precision. This will provide a revolutionary platform technology that will be applicable in a plethora of fields, such as medicine, nanotechnology, environmental engineering or scientific exploration and generate a real step change in the ways in which we build new materials, engineer our environment, fight disease and explore the universe in the 21st century.

Host institution

THE UNIVERSITY OF EXETER

Address

The Queen'S Drive Northcote House
Ex4 4qj Exeter

United Kingdom

Activity type

Higher or Secondary Education Establishments

EU Contribution

€ 1 766 481

Beneficiaries (1)

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THE UNIVERSITY OF EXETER

United Kingdom

EU Contribution

€ 1 766 481

Project information

Grant agreement ID: 803894

Status

Ongoing project

  • Start date

    1 November 2018

  • End date

    31 October 2023

Funded under:

H2020-EU.1.1.

  • Overall budget:

    € 1 766 481

  • EU contribution

    € 1 766 481

Hosted by:

THE UNIVERSITY OF EXETER

United Kingdom