Biotemplating of Metal–Organic Framework Nanocrystals for Applications in Small-Scale Robotics

Anastasia Terzopoulou, Mario Palacios-Corella, Carlos Franco, Semih Sevim, Thomas Dysli, Fajer Mushtaq, María Romero-Angel, Carlos Martí-Gastaldo, De Gong, Jun Cai, Xiang Zhong Chen, Martin Pumera, Andrew J. deMello, Bradley J. Nelson, Salvador Pané, Josep Puigmartí-Luis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Biotemplating is a powerful approach for manufacturing small-scale devices. Here, the assembly of metal–organic framework (MOF) nanocrystals onto biotemplated magnetic helical structures on the cyanobacterium Spirulina platensis is reported. It is demonstrated that the authors’ approach is universal and can be used to equip biotemplated structures with different functional MOF systems. The successful assembly of MOF nanocrystals on magnetically coated helical biotemplates is achieved by decorating the magnetic surface with gelatin, a naturally occurring macromolecule with synthon moieties that allows anchoring of the MOF nanocrystals via electrostatic interactions. Furthermore, as gelatin is a thermally responsive material, it can serve to free the magnetic biotemplates from the MOF nanocrystal cargoes. As such, the systems can be used as highly integrated magnetically driven microrobots with multiple functionalities. To this end, the potential of these composite helical architectures is demonstrated as MOF-based small-scale robots with applications in biomedicine and environmental remediation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2107421
JournalAdvanced Functional Materials
Issue number13
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Mar 23

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
A.T., M.P.‐C., and C.F. contributed equally to this work. This work was supported by the European Research Council under the ERC grant SOMBOT (No. 743217), ERC Consolidator Grant HINBOTS (No. 771565), ERC Starting Grant microCrysFact (No. 677020), the Swiss National Science Foundation (project no. 200021_181988) and grant PID2020‐116612RB‐C33 funded by MCIN/AEI/10.13039/501100011033. M.P. was supported by Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports (Czech Republic) grant LL2002 under ERC CZ program. C.M.G acknowledges funding from the Spanish Government (No. CEX2019‐000919M and PID2020‐118117RB‐I00).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 The Authors. Advanced Functional Materials published by Wiley-VCH GmbH

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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