MOFBOTS: Metal–Organic-Framework-Based Biomedical Microrobots

Xiaopu Wang, Xiang Zhong Chen, Carlos C.J. Alcântara, Semih Sevim, Marcus Hoop, Anastasia Terzopoulou, Carmela de Marco, Chengzhi Hu, Andrew J. de Mello, Paolo Falcaro, Shuhei Furukawa, Bradley J. Nelson, Josep Puigmartí-Luis*, Salvador Pané

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Motile metal−organic frameworks (MOFs) are potential candidates to serve as small-scale robotic platforms for applications in environmental remediation, targeted drug delivery, or nanosurgery. Here, magnetic helical microstructures coated with a kind of zinc-based MOF, zeolitic imidazole framework-8 (ZIF-8), with biocompatibility characteristics and pH-responsive features, are successfully fabricated. Moreover, it is shown that this highly integrated multifunctional device can swim along predesigned tracks under the control of weak rotational magnetic fields. The proposed systems can achieve single-cell targeting in a cell culture media and a controlled delivery of cargo payloads inside a complex microfluidic channel network. This new approach toward the fabrication of integrated multifunctional systems will open new avenues in soft microrobotics beyond current applications.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1901592
JournalAdvanced Materials
Issue number27
Publication statusPublished - 5 Jul 2019


  • drug delivery
  • metal–organic frameworks
  • micromachines
  • pH-responsive materials
  • ZIF-8

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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