Motion of micro- and nanoscale objects is being used by nature for cell trafficking and delivery of metabolized products. In nanoscience one aims to copy nature's strategies, and apply them to the nanoscale motion of roving sensors, drug delivery and effe ctive transport systems, commonly called nano-machines.
Depending on the actual application, one tries to either guide the motion along desired paths or make use of a roving statistical motion for a fast spreading of drugs or other types of components. In either case, nano-shuttles on the colloidal scale depend on reliable navigational data in order to fulfill their tasks in the complex environment in which they operate in bio-related applications.
In this project we want to explore a variety of autonomo usly moving natural and artificial para- and ferromagnetic nano-shuttles that respond with their orientation and translational motion to the heterogeneous magnetic fields of their surroundings. More specifically, we will study the motion of ferromagnetic magnetotactic bacteria and the motion of several catalytic para- and ferromagnetic nano-rods, aiming to understand how to control their propulsion, and their thermal fluctuating properties in various environmental conditions. In addition to the intellectu al merit of these studies, the work may eventually lead to development of novel types of Lab-on-a-Chip, a nano-technological device where micro-fluidic imaging opens new possibilities, e.g., in clinical/medical sciences.