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In Small (Weinheim an der Bergstrasse, Germany)

A magnetic urchin-like microswimmer based on sunflower pollen grain (SPG) that can pierce the cancer cell membrane and actively deliver therapeutic drugs is reported. These drug loaded microperforators are fabricated on a large scale by sequentially treating the natural SPGs with acidolysis, sputtering, and vacuum loading. The microswimmers exhibit precise autonomous navigation and obstacle avoidance in complex environments via association with artificial intelligence. Assemblies of microswimmers can further enhance individual motion performance and adaptability to complicated environments. Additionally, the experimental results demonstrate that microswimmers with nanospikes can accomplish single-cell perforation for direct delivery under an external rotating magnetic field. Drugs encapsulated in the inner cavity of the microperforators can be accurately delivered to a specific site via remote control. These dual-action microswimmers demonstrate good biocompatibility, high intelligence, precision in single-cell targeting, and sufficient drug loading, presenting a promising avenue for many varieties of biomedical applications.

Sun Mengmeng, Liu Qi, Fan Xinjian, Wang Yuefei, Chen Weinan, Tian Chenyao, Sun Lining, Xie Hui


artificial intelligence, intracellular delivery, magnetic actuation, microswimmer, sunflower pollen grains