Biomimetic behavior of synthetic particles: From microscopic randomness to macroscopic control

Yiying Hong, Darrell Velegol, Neetu Chaturvedi, Ayusman Sen

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

160 Scopus citations


Randomness is an inherent property of biological systems. In contrast, randomness has been mostly avoided in designing synthetic or artificial systems. Particularly, in designing micro/nano-motors, some researchers have successfully used external fields to gain deterministic control over the directionality of the objects, which otherwise move in completely random directions due to Brownian motion. However, a partial control that preserves a certain degree of randomness can be very useful in certain applications of micro/nano-motors. In this Perspective we review the current progress in establishing autonomous motion of micro/nano-particles that possess controlled randomness, provide insight into the phenomena where macroscopic order originates from microscopic disorder and discuss the resemblance between these artificial systems and biological emergent/collective behaviors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1423-1435
Number of pages13
JournalPhysical Chemistry Chemical Physics
Issue number7
StatePublished - Feb 15 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Physics and Astronomy
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


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