Report on the 1st International Conference on Mi-
Fangzhi Mou, Ming Luo and Jianguo Guan*
The 1st International Conference on Micro/Nanomachines (ICMNM 2017) was held in Wuhan,
China from August 25 to 28, 2017. The conference was co-organized by Prof. Jianguo Guan
from Wuhan University of Technology (WUT), China, Prof. Joseph Wang from University of
California San Diego (UCSD), USA and Prof. Peer Fischer from Max Planck Institute (MPI)
for Intelligent Systems, Germany. It focused on the theme “Propulsion at the Mi-
cro/nanoscale”. ICMNM 2017 brought together researchers from different disciplines to
discuss how micro/nanomachines can be built, powered and function like their biological
counterparts. The discussed topics include micro/nanomachines that are driven by local
chemical reactions, external field and biological cells. There were over 50 talks and 50
posters in this conference. Apart from the questions of fabrication, energy conversion, and
control at length scales where Brownian motion is of importance, a number of talks also
discussed potential fields of application for these synthetic micro/nanomachines.
In the first keynote, Prof. Thomas E. Mallouk
from Pennsylvania State University discussed
the cross-diffusion model to explain chemo-
taxis in noncatalytic systems. He also demon-
strated the control of motor orientation, as-
sembly, and strong upstream or downstream
rheotaxis of micro/nanomotors under chemi-
cal or acoustic propulsion.
Prof. Joseph Wang from UCSD first intro-
duced the past and present development of
micro/nanomachines, then highlighted their
attractive features in various applications,
including using them to write, repair, image,
deliver and destroy.
Prof. Peer Fischer from MPI for Intelligent
Systems demonstrated that light responsive
titania-silica Janus colloids can make the
structures and assemblies that usually cannot
be found in equilibrium systems, followed by
their latest monolithic acoustic holograms,
which can be used to generate diffrac-tion-limited acoustic pressure fields and thus
arbitrary ultrasound beams. The new acoustic
holograms will enable new capabilities in
beam-steering and the contactless transfer of
power, improve medical imaging, and drive
new applications of ultrasound.
Prof. Toshio Fukuda from Nagoya University
delivered an informative talk on mi-
cro/nanorobotic manipulation technologies for
carbon nanotube engineering, single cell sur-
gery and 3D cell bio-assembly, as well as
their-based bio-driven micro/nanomachines.
Prof. Oliver G. Schmidt from IFW Dresden
discussed the opportunities and challenges of
micromotors with a subsequent demonstration
of the multilayer self-rolled micromotors and
the magnetically guided spermatid-driven
swimmers, showing attractive in vivo pro-
spects of micro/nanomachines.
Prof. John F. Brady from California Institute
of Technology (Caltech) discussed the origin
of a new source of stress that is responsible
for self-assembly and pattern formation in
active matter systems.
Prof. Liangfang Zhang from UCSD high-
lighted a revolutionary cell membrane coating
technology, which can be applied to various
substrates with different types of cell mem-
branes, endowing micro/nanomotors with a
fully biocompatible surface and biomimic
functions for diverse medical applications.
Prof. Yanlei Yu from Fudan University gave
an engaging presentation on photodeformable
liquid crystal polymers, a promising material
for the fabrication of soft actuators, which
could easily achieve sophisticated 3D motions
by light illumination, offering a considerable
promise for optofluidic microchips.
Prof. Fangzhi Mou from WUT summarized
the design strategies of light-controlled mi-
cro/nanomotors, followed by the light con-
trolled dynamic assembly of colloidal parti-
cles. Furthermore, he also highlighted the
swarming behaviors and programmable col-
lective motions of light-driven micromotors.
Prof. Qiang He from Harbin Institute of
Technology (HIT) detailed that living cells
with intrinsic chemotaxis capability such as
neutrophils could be turned into self-guided
biohybrid micromotors by integrating E. coli.
membrane camouflaging mesoporous silica
nanoparticles (MSNPs) for actively seeking
sites of diseases and targeted drug transport.
By integrating MSNPs with catalyt-
ic/bio-catalytic materials, Prof. Xing Ma from
HIT (Shenzhen) introduced MSNP as mi-
cro/nano-carrier for controlled drug/gene
co-delivery and photodynamic therapy for
Dr. Wei Gao from UCSD (now Caltech) pre-
sented functionalization of self-propelled zinc
micromotors. He reported the first in vivo
study of artificial micromotors by using a
mouse model, opening the door to in vivo
evaluation and clinical applications of these
Compared with most investigations focusing
on solid micro/nanomachines, Prof. Jing Liu
from Tsinghua University delivered an inter-
esting presentation of self-powered liquid
metal droplet machines. He demonstrated that
injecting the EGaIn alloy fueled with alumi-
num to the desired electrolyte would break up
the alloy into droplet motors by converting
chemical energy into mechanical power.
This conference values the opportunity to
identify rising young scientists. For example,
Dr. Jinxing Li from UCSD was awarded by
ICMNM 2017 as the recipient of the “Young
Scientist Innovation Award”. He presented a
lecture titled “Nanorobotic Lithography and
Imaging”, demonstrating an engaging application. Mr. Jemish Parmar from Prof. Samuel
Sánchez group won the first place of the
“Best Poster Awards”. The second and third
prize winners were awarded to Mr. Haifeng
Xu from IFW Dresden and Mr. Borui Xu
from Fudan University, respectively.
ICMNM 2017 attracted over 200 participants
from 14 countries and regions and was the
largest international conference ever held on
micro/nanomachines. Its success indicates
that micro/nanomachines are an active and
topical area of research that promises to have
major impact in many fields. ICMNM was a
perfect venue for researchers to share their
latest results and build friendships, establish
collaborations and spark new ideas, which are
expected to be the basis of the next meeting
Meeting Information: The 1
International Conference on
25 to 28, 2017, Wuhan, China.
State Key Laboratory of Advanced Technology
for Materials Synthesis and Processing, International School of Materials Science and
Engineering, Wuhan University of Technology,
Wuhan 430070, P. R. China.
*Corresponding author. E-mail: guanjg@whut.