Nature publishes special of Active Matter including research of the Millennium Nucleus

In its August edition, the journal Nature published a collection with the main research articles on the active matter, which included a work by the researcher of our Millennium Nucleus, Francisca Guzmán.

“The systems of active matter are formed by units that consume energy. Physicists group flocks of birds, molecular motors and vibrational grain layers in this category, because they all draw energy from their surroundings at the particle level and transform it into mechanical work”. By studying the behaviors developed, our understanding of these systems can be improved, and new frameworks can be constructed for the investigation of statistical physics of out-of-equilibrium systems”. With these words, the editor of the journal Nature presents the collection on Active Matter published last week on its website, and which includes selected articles from the journals Nature Communications, Nature, Nature Physics, Nature Materials, Nature Reviews Materials, and Communications Physics.
It consists of 61 studies selected and divided into Comments and Reviews, Active Synthetic Matter, Active Biological Matter and Theory and Modelling. In this last topic, one of the works selected by the collection is “Scenarios of fission and fusion for magnetic microswimmers clusters”, a study led by Francisca Guzmán, invited researcher of the Millennium Nucleus Physics of Active Matter, of the Faculty of Physical and Mathematical Sciences of the University of Chile and a professor at Universidad Mayor.

The study
The Ph.D. in Fluid Dynamics at the University of Chile says that the selected publication was made in the context of her postdoctoral in Germany, where they studied the behavior of magnetic artificial swimmers. “This type of artificial swimmers offer controlled size, self-assembly and the ability to be manipulated outwardly by external electromagnetic fields. We analyze the case in which these magnetic swimmers form structures, such as chains and rings, magnetically stable and experimentally observed,” she says.
In the research – along with physicists Andreas Kaiser and Hartmut Löwen – she found, on one hand, that there were fission scenarios, where the clusters or groups of initial chains were broken due to the “activity” or the hydrodynamic interactions generated by their movement in the fluid. On the other hand, there were fusion scenarios, where these clusters were attracted due to their activity and formed new self-propelled structures. “These types of swimmers are promising in nanotechnology and medicine. Magnetic nanoparticles (MNP) have been established for its use in several promising biomedical applications, such as contrast agents in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), vectors in the administration of drugs and mediators to convert electromagnetic energy into heat (hyperthermia)”, says Guzmán.


“Fission and fusion scenarios for magnetic microswimmer clusters”.
Francisca Guzmán-Lastra, Andreas Kaiser & Hartmut Löwen.