Microrobots Derived from Variety Plant Pollen Grains for Efficient Environmental Clean Up and as an Anti-Cancer Drug Carrier

Tijana Maric, Muhammad Zafir Mohamad Nasir, Nur Farhanah Rosli, Maja Budanović, Richard D. Webster, Nam Joon Cho, Martin Pumera

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Citations (Scopus)


The production of large quantities of micromachines and microrobots is limited by fabrication methods and the use of synthetic templates. Pollen is one of the most stable structures in the world, capable of surviving harsh treatment and for millions of years. Pollen grains are available in large variety of shapes and sizes. The use of a wide variety of naturally abundant, nontoxic pollen grains for the efficient fabrication of platinum-pollen (Pt-pollen) hybrid microrobots capable of fast propulsion for environmental and biomedical applications is demonstrated. Nine different pollen grains are selected and modified (dandelion, pine, lotus, sunflower, poppy, camellia, lycopodium, cattail, and galla) to demonstrate the robustness of different types of pollen grains for potential applications in environmental remediation. The efficient mobility rendered by the fabricated microrobots enhances their performance in the removal of heavy metals in aqueous medium. Furthermore, they can be used as doxorubicin carriers.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2000112
JournalAdvanced Functional Materials
Issue number19
Publication statusPublished - 2020 May 1

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
M.P. acknowledges financial support of the project Advanced Functional Nanorobots (Reg. No. CZ.02.1.01/0.0/0.0/15_003/0000444 financed by the EFRR). The authors acknowledge financial support from A*STAR grant (No. SERC A1783c0005), Singapore.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

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


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