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ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces 2019, 11(35), 31832-31843

Cloisite Microrobots as Self-Propelling Cleaners for Fast and Efficient Removal of Improvised Organophosphate Nerve Agents

Naturally available microclays are well-known materials with great adsorption capabilities that are available in nature in megatons quantities. On the contrary, artificial nanostructures are often available at high cost via precision manufacturing. Such precision nanomanufacturing is also typically used for fabrication of self-propelled micromotors and nanomachines. Herein, we utilized naturally available Cloisite microclays to fabricate autonomous self-propelled microrobots and demonstrated their excellent performances in pesticide removal due to their excellent adsorption capability. Six different modified Cloisite microrobots were investigated by sputtering their microclays with platinum (Pt) for the fabrication of platinum–Cloisite (Pt–C) microrobots. The obtained microrobots displayed fast velocities (v > 110 μm/s) with fast and efficient enhanced removal of the pesticide fenitrothion, which is also considered as improvised nerve agent. The fabricated Pt–C microrobots exhibited low cytotoxicity even at high concentrations when incubated with human lung carcinoma epithelial cells, which make them safe for human handling.

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