100% organic propulsion for micro-objects


The development of (micro) systems capable of moving and being pushed by simple external stimuli such as light is a booming field with many potential applications ranging from nanomedicine to water pollution control. To move, most current synthetic or hybrid systems require a fuel (A fuel is a material which, in the presence of oxygen and energy, can …) artificial or semi-natural.

Bordeaux chemists have recently developed a completely different method strategy (Strategy – from the Greek stratos which means “army” and ageîn which means …) who uses theoxygen (Oxygen is a chemical element of the chalcogen family, of …) released from the leaves during the photosynthesis (Photosynthesis (Greek φῶς phōs, light and …) to push them in a controlled way surface (A surface generally refers to the surface layer of an object. The term a …) air / water. These new swimmers are to be discovered in the magazine Angewandte Chemie international edition.

By modifying a leaf using microsurgery, it is possible to concentrate the to flow (The word flow (from the Latin fluxus, flow) generally designates a set of elements …) of O2 produced during photosynthesis. In touch withwater (Water is an omnipresent chemical compound on Earth, essential for everyone …)such a modified leaf becomes a natural swimmer that moves only under the effect of light (Light is the set of electromagnetic waves visible to the eye …) and in the presence of carbon dioxide (Carbon dioxide, commonly known as carbon dioxide or carbon dioxide, is a …).
© Ambrose Ashwin Melvin.

Over millions of years of evolution and optimization, nature has designed highly sophisticated dynamic systems of various sizes. Natural swimmers are a Extremely beautiful (Named in honor of inventor Alexander Graham Bell, the beautiful is the unity of …) example of this complexity (Complexity is a concept used in philosophy, epistemology (for …) evolution, which use very versatile strategies to generate movement. Great inspiration from natural swimmers, (semi) artificial swimmers, synthetic or biohybrid types of gear, saw the day (The day or day is the interval between sunrise and sunset; it is the …) as promising candidates to perform various tasks ranging fromdisinfection (Hygiene is a process by which people can live in a …) from water to nanomedicine.

These swimmers can be powered and controlled externally, for example by light, but also by a force (The word force can designate a mechanical power over things, and also, metaphorically, a …) magnetic, electric or acoustic (Acoustics is a branch of physics whose object is the study of …). They can also be operated by other mechanisms, based on the use of (bio) chemical fuels, but with a certain risk that the fuel (A fuel is a fuel that powers a thermal engine. This transforms …) or the reaction products are toxic. More recently, hybrid micro-swimmers have been proposed as interesting intermediates between natural and artificial swimmers. They are often composed of purely synthetic parts coupled with biological entities such as bacteria (Bacteria (bacteria) are prokaryotic single-celled living organisms, characterized …) or sperm.

In a study recently published in Angewandte Chemie international editionchemists of theInstitute (An institution is a permanent organization created for a specific purpose. It is …) Molecular Sciences (CNRS / Bordeaux Polytechnic Institute / Bordeaux University) report a completely different strategy for propulsion (Propulsion is the principle that allows a body to move in the surrounding space ….) innovative based on the deviation of bubbles from dioxygen (Dioxygen is a molecule composed of two oxygen atoms, called O2, …) or2 produced by the leaves during the natural photosynthesis process. By modifying the structure of the evolutionary channels of gas (A gas is a set of very loosely bonded atoms or molecules and …) on the leaf, the scientists were able to spatially control the flow of O2, usually released diffuse during photosynthesis. In contact with water, such a modified leaf becomes a natural macro or micro swimmer.

Unlike most of the systems reported so far, no conventional chemical fuel, such as peroxide (A peroxide is a chemical compound with the general formula ROO-R ‘, the group -OO -…) fromhydrogen (Hydrogen is a chemical element with the symbol H and atomic number 1.) or other compounds such as sugar (What is usually called sugar is, since 1406, a “sweet tasting substance …) for some enzyme swimmers, just pulling the towel. This only moves under the effect of light, in the presence of carbon dioxide. carbon (Carbon is a chemical element of the family of crystallogens, symbol C, …) and water. This unique class of natural swimmers could in the future serve as a platform for the development of original dynamic systems at different scales.

This work was obtained as part of a study funded by the European Research Council (ERC) under the Research (Scientific research primarily refers to all actions undertaken with a view to …) and innovation Horizon (Conceptually, the horizon is the limit of what can be observed, due to its own …) 2020 from the European Union (grant agreement n ° 74125, ERC Advanced grant ELECTRA).

Space-controlled CO2 Conversion kinetics into Natural (Natural is a semi-compiled programming language, published by the company …) Leaves for the generation of movement,
Ambrose A. Melvin, Bertrand Goudeau, Wojciech Nogala and Alexander Kuhn, Angewandte Chemie international edition June 2022.

-Alexander Kuhn- Researcher (A researcher (female researcher) refers to a person whose job is to do research …) at the Institute of Molecular Sciences (CNRS / University of Bordeaux / Bordeau INP) – kuhn on
– Stéphanie Younès – Manager Communication (Communication concerns both man (intrapsychic, interpersonal communication, etc.) – Institute of chemistry (Chemistry is a natural science divided into several specialties, a …) from CNRS (The National Center for Scientific Research, better known by the acronym CNRS, is the largest …) – inc.communication on
– Anne-Valérie Ruzette – Manager scientific (A scientist is a person who devotes himself to the study of one or more sciences and who …) for communication – CNRS Institute of Chemistry – anne-valerie.ruzette on
– says Christophe Cartier mill (A mill is a machine for grinding cereal grains into flour and, by analogy, …) – Researcher at the Institute of Molecular Chemistry in Paris and Project Manager for scientific communication at the INC

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