Active colloids as mobile microelectrodes for unified label-free selective cargo transport

Alicia M. Boymelgreen, Tov Balli, Touvia Miloh, Gilad Yossifon*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

86 Scopus citations


Utilization of active colloids to transport both biological and inorganic cargo has been widely examined in the context of applications ranging from targeted drug delivery to sample analysis. In general, carriers are customized to load one specific target via a mechanism distinct from that driving the transport. Here we unify these tasks and extend loading capabilities to include on-demand selection of multiple nano/micro-sized targets without the need for pre-labelling or surface functionalization. An externally applied electric field is singularly used to drive the active cargo carrier and transform it into a mobile floating electrode that can attract (trap) or repel specific targets from its surface by dielectrophoresis, enabling dynamic control of target selection, loading and rate of transport via the electric field parameters. In the future, dynamic selectivity could be combined with directed motion to develop building blocks for bottom-up fabrication in applications such as additive manufacturing and soft robotics.

Original languageEnglish
Article number760
JournalNature Communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2018


FundersFunder number
Technion RBNI
United States-Israel Binational Science Foundation2009371
Israel Science Foundation1945/14
Russell Berrie Nanotechnology Institute, Technion-Israel Institute of Technology


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