Microswimmers are a rapidly developing research area attracting enormous attention because of their many potential applications with high societal value. A particularly promising target for cleverly engineered microswimmers is the field of biomedical applications, where many interesting examples have already been reported for e.g., cargo transport and drug delivery, artificial insemination, sensing, indirect manipulation of cells and other microscopic objects, imaging, and microsurgery. Pioneered only two decades ago, research studies on the use of microswimmers in biomedical applications are currently progressing at an incredibly fast pace. Given the recent nature of the research, there are currently no clinically approved microswimmer uses, and it is likely that several years will yet pass before any clinical uses can become a reality. Nevertheless, current research is laying the foundation for clinical translation, as more and more studies explore various strategies for developing biocompatible and biodegradable microswimmers fueled by in vivo-friendly means. The aim of this review is to provide a summary of the reported biomedical applications of microswimmers, with focus on the most recent advances. Finally, the main considerations and challenges for clinical translation and commercialization are discussed.
- Biomedical application
- Drug delivery