The new capabilities and functionalities of synthetic micro/nanomotors open up considerable opportunities for diverse environmental and biomedical applications. Water‐powered micromachines are particularly attractive for realizing many of these applications. Magnesium‐based motors directly use water as fuel to generate hydrogen bubbles for their propulsion, eliminating the requirement of common toxic fuels. This Review highlights the development of new Mg‐based micromotors and discusses the chemistry that makes it extremely attractive for micromotor applications. Understanding these Mg properties and its transient nature is essential for controlling the propulsion efficiency, lifetime, and overall performance. The unique and attractive behavior of Mg offers significant advantages, including efficient water‐powered movement, remarkable biocompatibility, controlled degradation, convenient functionalization, and built‐in acid neutralization ability, and has paved the way for multifunctional micromachines for diverse real‐life applications, including operation in living animals. A wide range of such Mg motor‐based applications, including the detection and destruction of environmental threats, effective in‐vivo cargo delivery, and autonomous release, have been demonstrated. In conclusion, the current challenges, future opportunities, and performance improvements of the Mg‐based micromotors are discussed. With continuous innovation and attention to key challenges, it is expected that Mg‐based motors will have a profound impact on diverse biomedical and environmental applications.
Small – Wiley
Published: Jan 1, 2018
Keywords: ; ; ; ;
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