Bacteria can actively move towards a nutrient source--a phenomenon known as chemotaxis--and they can move collectively in a process known as swarming.
Chinese scientists have redesigned collective chemotaxis by creating artificial model nanoswimmers from chemically and biochemically modified gold nanoparticles.
The model could help understand the dynamics of chemotactic motility in a bacterial swarm, concludes the study published in the journal Angewandte Chemie.
What causes swarming, and whether such collective behavior can be translated into artificial intelligent systems, is currently a topic of intensive scientific research.
But to what degree swimmers are sped up in a swarm, and what other factors play a role, is still unclear.
Colloidal chemist Qiang He at the Harbin Institute of Technology, China, and his colleagues, have now constructed a simple artificial model of bacteria-like nanoswimmers.