Multi-Wavelength Light-Responsive Metal–Phenolic Network-Based Microrobots for Reactive Species Scavenging

Ziyi Guo, Tianyi Liu, Wanli Gao, Christian Iffelsberger, Biao Kong, Martin Pumera

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Light-driven microrobots with different propulsion mechanisms have attracted great attention in microrobot synthesis and applications. However, current systems rely heavily on precious metals, using a complex synthesis process and limited working wavelength. It is therefore of great interest to fabricate microrobots that can be driven by multi-wavelength irradiation and with simple components. Here, metal–phenolic network (MPN)-based microrobots are synthesized using a sacrificial polystyrene bead template and an extra capping is added to regulate their symmetry. The hollow MPN microrobots with different layers of capping are capable of moving under both near-infrared (NIR) irradiation and ultraviolet (UV) irradiation, without fuel. The velocity of the microrobots under irradiation is altered by the thickness of the asymmetric capping and their motion could be manipulated remotely by switching the NIR or UV irradiation on and off. With light-driven mobility, the reactive oxygen and nitrogen species (RONS) scavenging activity of the microrobots is significantly increased. Therefore, this proposed microrobot system provides a synthesis strategy to develop asymmetric light-navigated microrobots for future medical treatment with tunable structure, multi-wavelength light-responsive mobility, and great RONS scavenging capacity.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2210994
JournalAdvanced Materials
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2023 Mar 9

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
M.P. acknowledges the financial support of the Grant Agency of the Czech Republic (EXPRO:19‐26896X).

Funding Information:
Z.G. and M.P. conceived and designed the project. Z.G. performed the materials synthesis and analyzed the experimental data. T.L. and Z.G. performed the simulation. W.G. and Z.G. performed the electrochemical measurement. C.I. advised on the irradiation setup. B.K. and M.P. supervised the experimental components of the work. All authors participated in editing the final manuscript. The authors acknowledge the CzechNanoLab project LM2018110 funded by MEYS CR for the financial support of the measurements/sample fabrication at CEITEC Nano Research Infrastructure.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 Wiley-VCH GmbH.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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