Congratulations to our PhD graduate Dr JI Fengtong for receiving the Best Oral Presentation Award at the International Youth Conference on Bionic Science and Engineering Conference 2021 (IYCBSE2021)!
Project: Mimicking Schooling Fishes to Construct a 3D Reconfigurable Microswarm for On-Demand Reaction-Rate Control
Swarm behaviors are natural strategies for performing cooperative work. From living bacteria colonies to abiotic particles, various swarm behaviors have been extensively investigated in 2D spaces, i.e., solid substrate or liquid-air interface, for conducting directional motion and reconfigurable patterns. While such a dependence on boundaries may limit the wall-bound motion and performance of swarming agents. Moreover, because of the less dependence, maintaining a large number of particles as a dynamically stable swarming entity in 3D and managing its reconfigurable collective behaviors remain the central problem. Herein, a tornado-shaped microswarm mimicking schooling fishes is constructed in an aqueous environment under a hybrid source of programmable magnetic actuation and laser irradiation. This 3D microswarm tornado (MST) performs reversible vertical mass transportation during its reconfigurable generation consisting of rising, hovering, oscillation, and landing stages. It manages on-demand control of reaction rate by the hovering for trapping of reactants and the oscillation for mixing surrounding substance. The MST is investigated to serve as a model for 3D mass transportation and mimicking natural swarm behaviors on collective anti-gravity reconfiguration, aiming at taking effects in microrobotic engineering and drug delivery.