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In ACS nano ; h5-index 203.0

Sensing of key parameters in fluidic environments has attracted extensive attention because the physical features of body fluids could be used for point-of-care disease diagnosis. Although various sensing methods have been investigated, effective sensing strategies of microenvironments remains a major challenge. In this paper, we propose an approach that can realize sensing of fluidic viscosity and ionic strength using microswarms formed by simple colloidal nanoparticles. The influences of fluidic ionic strength and viscosity on two swarm behaviors are analyzed (i.e., the spreading of circular vortex-like swarms and the elongation of elliptical swarms). The data models for quantifying the fluidic viscosity and ionic strength are obtained from experiments, and the fluidic features can be sensed successfully using the swarm behaviors. Furthermore, we demonstrate that the microswarms have the capability of passing through tortuous and narrow microchannels for sensing. Continuous sensing of different fluidic environments using swarms is also realized. Finally, the sensing of viscosity and ionic strength of porcine whole blood is presented, which also validates the feasibility of the sensing strategy.

Chen Hui, Wang Yibin, Liu Yuezhen, Zou Qian, Yu Jiangfan


colloidal microswarms, intelligent control, ionic strength sensing, on-demand sensing, swarm behaviors, viscosity sensing