Contractile Actuation and Dynamical Gel Assembly of Paramagnetic Filaments in Fast Precessing Fields

Scientific Achievement

We find that individual flexible superparamagnetic filaments can be made to exert controllable tensile forces along the precession axis.

Significance and Impact

Our work demonstrates the power of magnetic filaments as the basis for dynamic designer materials, including dynamic gelation and actuation.

Precession frequency ω and bending modulus κ effects on aggregation for 80-bead filaments with M =  3μ2/σ3 =12KT and viscous drag in Lennard-Jones units γσ=10. The  inverse magnetoelastic parameter ξ = κ/ (ML2 ) versus the magnetic normalized end force χ = M/ (γωσ), shows at low ω and κ filaments aggregating into spirals instead of branching networks.


Joshua M. Dempster, Pablo Vazquez-Montejo and Monica Olvera de la Cruz. Physical Review E Phys. Rev. E 95, 052606 (2017)

Research Details

  • We combine analytical tools and simulations to study the behavior of isolated and bulk filaments in dynamic magnetic fields.
  • We focus on exploiting dynamic effects common to many types of filaments in order to produce desired behaviors.

Work performed at Northwestern University