1 Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems, Heisenbergstr. 3, 70569 Stuttgart, Germany
2 Institute for Physical Chemistry, Univ. Stuttgart, Pfaffenwaldring 55, 70569 Stuttgart, Germany
a e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Received: 27 February 2016
Revised: 10 May 2016
Published online: 10 November 2016
This minireview discusses whether catalytically active macromolecules and abiotic nanocolloids, that are smaller than motile bacteria, can self-propel. Kinematic reversibility at low Reynolds number demands that self-propelling colloids must break symmetry. Methods that permit the synthesis and fabrication of Janus nanocolloids are therefore briefly surveyed, as well as means that permit the analysis of the nanocolloids’ motion. Finally, recent work is reviewed which shows that nanoagents are small enough to penetrate the complex inhomogeneous polymeric network of biological fluids and gels, which exhibit diverse rheological behaviors.
© The Author(s) 2016
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