A team of scientists from Oxford University has shown how the natural movement of bacteria could be harnessed to assemble and power microscopic ‘windfarms’.
The study, published in the journal Science Advances, uses computer simulations to demonstrate that the chaotic swarming effect of dense active matter such as bacteria can be organised to turn cylindrical rotors and provide a steady power source.
Researchers say these biologically driven power plants could someday be the microscopic engines for tiny, man-made devices that are self-assembled and self-powered.
Co-author Dr Tyler Shendruk, from Oxford University’s Department of Physics, said: ‘Many of society’s energy challenges are on the gigawatt scale, but some are downright microscopic. One potential way to generate tiny amounts of power for micromachines might be to harvest it directly from biological systems such as bacteria suspensions.’
Dense bacterial suspensions are the quintessential example of active fluids that flow spontaneously. While swimming bacteria are capable of swarming and driving disorganised living flows, they are normally too disordered to extract any useful power from.
But when the Oxford team immersed a lattice of 64 symmetric microrotors into this active fluid, the scientists found that the bacteria spontaneously organised itself in such a way that neighbouring rotors began to spin in opposite directions – a simple structural organisation reminiscent of a windfarm.
Dr Shendruk added: ‘The amazing thing is that we didn’t have to pre-design microscopic gear-shaped turbines. The rotors just self-assembled into a sort of bacterial windfarm.
‘When we did the simulation with a single rotor in the bacterial turbulence, it just got kicked around randomly. But when we put an array of rotors in the living fluid, they suddenly formed a regular pattern, with neighbouring rotors spinning in opposite directions.’
Co-author Dr Amin Doostmohammadi, from Oxford University’s Department of Physics, said: ‘The ability to get even a tiny amount of mechanical work from these biological systems is valuable because they do not need an input power and use internal biochemical processes to move around.
‘At micro scales, our simulations show that the flow generated by biological assemblies is capable of reorganising itself in such a way as to generate a persistent mechanical power for rotating an array of microrotors.’
Senior author Professor Julia Yeomans, from Oxford University’s Department of Physics, added: ‘Nature is brilliant at creating tiny engines, and there is enormous potential if we can understand how to exploit similar designs.’
The Latest on: Micromachines
via Google News
The Latest on: Micromachines
- NASA selects Boston Micromachines for space mirroron January 27, 2020 at 4:00 pm
Home NASA selects Boston Micromachines for space mirror WATERTOWN, Mass., 28 Nov. 2005. Boston Micromachines Corp. today announced that it has been selected by NASA for a Phase 2 contract. NASA's ...
- Cargo capture and transport by colloidal swarmson January 24, 2020 at 11:15 am
From a technological standpoint, self-propelled particles have been proposed for use in nano/microrobotics (4, 12), biomedical devices (13), environmental remediation (14), sensing (15), separations ...
- Adaptive Optics Market: Clear Understanding of The Competitive Landscape and Key Product Segmentson January 22, 2020 at 3:48 am
Some of the key players in the market are Northrop Grumman Corporation, Boston Micromachines Corporation, Olympus Corp., Raytheon Co., IRIS AO, Inc., Canon Inc., Benchmark Electronics, Inc., Celestron ...
- Micro Machines 64 Turbo Forum Topicson January 15, 2020 at 4:00 pm
Guide: Luigi's Mansion 3 - Gem Locations And Gem Maps For... Sat 18th Jan 2020 Video: 12 Exciting New Games Coming To Nintendo Switch In ...
- Publisher Correction: Nanomagnetic encoding of shape-morphing micromachineson January 14, 2020 at 4:00 pm
In the HTML version (the PDF and print versions were correct) of this Article, owing to a typesetting error, Tian-Yun Huang should not have been affiliated with the Laboratory for Multiscale ...
- Royal Mail is releasing special video game stamps featuring the likes of Tomb Raider, Lemmings, Elite, and Wipeouton January 7, 2020 at 4:37 am
Featured in the collection are stamps with designs from Tomb Raider, Elite, Dizzy, Populous, Lemmings, Micro Machines, Sensible Soccer, Wipeout, and Worms Elite. Set to go on sale on January 21 ...
- Royal Mail is releasing special video game stamps featuring the likes of Tomb Raider, Lemmings, Elite, and Wipeouton January 7, 2020 at 3:39 am
Featured in the collection are stamps with designs from Tomb Raider, Elite, Dizzy, Populous, Lemmings, Micro Machines, Sensible Soccer, Wipeout, and Worms Elite. Set to go on sale on January 21, you ...
- NASA chooses Boston Micromachines for two Phase I space-imaging projectson January 5, 2020 at 4:00 pm
January 6, 2010--Boston Micromachines Corporation (Cambridge, MA), which provides MEMS (microelectromechanical systems)-based deformable-mirror products for adaptive-optics systems, has been selected ...
- Micro Machines 64 Turbo Reviewson January 4, 2020 at 4:00 am
Guide: Pokémon Sword And Shield Codes: Full List Of Myst... 3 days ago Guide: How To Fix A Drifting Nintendo Switch Joy-Con Anal... Sat 4th Jan 2020 Guide: Pokémon GO Eevee Evolutions - How To ...
- Researchers directly measure ‘Cheerios effect’ forces for the first timeon January 2, 2020 at 5:06 am
And the implications of the work go far beyond cereal bowls — the results could be useful in guiding the self-assembly of micromachines or in designing microscale robots that operate in and around ...
via Bing News