Smart nano-bio-devices

Samuel Sánchez Ordóñez | Group Leader / ICREA Research Professor
Nerea Murillo Cremaes | Postdoctoral Researcher
Tania Patiño Padial | Postdoctoral Researcher
Agostino Romeo | Postdoctoral Researcher
Diana Vilela Garcia | Postdoctoral Researcher
Katherine Villa Gómez | Postdoctoral Researcher
Mingjun Xuan | Postdoctoral Researcher
Jaideep Katuri | PhD Student
Ana Candida Lopes Hortelão | PhD Student
Rafael Mestre Castillo | PhD Student
Lucas Santiago Palacios Ruiz | PhD Student
Jemish Parmar | PhD Student
Shivesh Anand | Research Assistant
Angel Blanco Blanes | Laboratory Technician
Ariadna Pérez Jiménez | Laboratory Technician
Xavier Arqué Roca | Masters Student
Tania Gonçalves Ferreira | Masters Student
Albert Miguel López | Masters Student
Silvia Vicente Rizo | Masters Student


Chemically powered micro- and nanomotors are small devices that are self-propelled by catalytic reactions in fluids. These synthetic systems form a relatively new class of active matter, natural examples of which include flocks of birds, collection of cells and suspensions of bacteria. A number of promising applications have been envisioned for these micro-nano motors, such as targeted drug delivery, environmental remediation and as pick-up and delivery agents in lab-on-a-chip devices. These applications rely on the basic functionalities of self-propelled motors: directional motion, sensing of the local environment, and the ability to respond to external signals. Our group works on the design and study of new types of synthetic motors towards these applications and develops proof-of-concept studies to demonstrate their viability. Below are some of the projects that we are currently working on.

Enzyme powered motors towards biomedical applications


Several enzymes can be coupled with synthetic nanomotor architectures to derive a bio-compatible propulsion mechanism.

Conventional micro-nano motors have been powered by the catalytic decomposition of hydrogen peroxide on a Pt surface. This method falls short when it comes to bio-medical applications due to the toxicity of peroxide. To move toward more biocompatible propulsion sources, there has been a recent effort to integrate enzymes in the nanomotors. Enzymes trigger biocatalytic reactions, which can convert chemical energy into kinetic motion for bioprocesses, for example, intracellular protein transport. Different types of enzymes including urea and D-glucose have been coupled with the nanomotor structures to achieve a non-toxic propulsion mechanism. We have also developed method to achieve direction and velocity control in these types of motors.

Read more:
Enzyme-Powered Hollow Mesoporous Janus Nanomotors
Xing Ma, Anita Jannasch, Urban-Raphael Albrecht, Kersten Hahn, Albert Miguel-López, Erik Schäffer, and Samuel Sánchez
Nano Letters 2015 15, 7043-7050
Bubble-Free Propulsion of Ultrasmall Tubular Nanojets Powered by Biocatalytic Reactions
Xing Ma, Ana C. Hortelao, Albert Miguel-López, and Samuel Sánchez
Journal of the American Chemical Society 2016 138, 13782-13785
Enzyme Catalysis To Power Micro/Nanomachines
Xing Ma, Ana C. Hortelão, Tania Patiño, and Samuel Sánchez
ACS Nano 2016 10, 9111-9122

Active matter near interfaces


Phoretic and hydrodynamic interactions with nearby surfaces can be exploited to create a guidance mechanism for self-propelled particles and to self-assemble micro-gears.

We study colloidal suspensions of Pt-coated silica particles as a model system of synthetic active matter. These systems have mostly been studied in homogeneous environments until now. Our interest lies in observing these systems in more complex settings, such as near interfaces. Since the self-propelled particles generate chemical and hydrodynamic fields around them, they interact in complex ways with nearby surfaces that often leads to interesting behaviour. We could find, for instance that close to solid surfaces they achieve a stable ‘gliding’ state which could be exploited to develop a system for guiding micro-nano motors using topographical features.  The same effect could also be used to self-assemble micro-motors around passive structures to form micro-gears.

Read more:
Topographical Pathways Guide Chemical Microswimmers
Juliane Simmchen, Jaideep Katuri, William E. Uspal, Mihail N. Popescu, Mykola Tasinkevych, and Samuel Sánchez
Nature Communications 2016 7 , 10598
Self-Assembly of Micromachining Systems Powered by Janus Micromotors
Claudio Maggi, Juliane Simmchen, Filippo Saglimbeni, Jaideep Katuri, Michele Dipalo, Francesco De Angelis, Samuel Sanchez, and Roberto Di Leonardo
Small 2016 12, 446–451

 Environmental applications of micro-nano motors


Fe and Gox based micromotors can be used to remove organic and heavy metal contaminants from water.

Artificial microjets, based on microtubular geometries self-propel by the ejection of a jet of bubbles. Recent studies have demonstrated that the bubbles released from the microjets can mix solutions and enhance chemical reactions. We have designed ‘roll-up’ microjets that use up hydrogen peroxide as a fuel and generate and actively transport free radicals in the solution in a 3D manner, boosting the degradation of organic dyes via Fenton-like reactions. Long-term activity lasting upto 24 hrs has been recorded for these systems. Electrodeposited microjets that are much smaller than their ‘roll-up’ counterparts, containing graphene-oxide on the outside have been developed as ‘heavy metal scrubbers’. Lead is captured by these graphene-modified microjets and cleaned out from contaminated solutions. The metal can thereafter be desorbed, and the microjets can be reused again.

Read more:
Self-Propelled Micromotors for Cleaning Polluted Water
Lluís Soler, Veronika Magdanz, Vladimir M. Fomin, Samuel Sanchez, and Oliver G. Schmidt
ACS Nano 2013 7, 9611-9620
Reusable and Long-Lasting Active Microcleaners for Heterogeneous Water Remediation
Jemish Parmar, Diana Vilela, Eva Pellicer, Daniel Esqué-de los Ojos, Jordi Sort, and Samuel Sánchez
Advanced Functional Materials 2016 26, 4152–4161
Graphene-Based Microbots for Toxic Heavy Metal Removal and Recovery from Water
Diana Vilela, Jemish Parmar, Yongfei Zeng, Yanli Zhao, and Samuel Sánchez
Nano Letters 2016 16, 2860-2866

Bio-hybrid micro-nano motors


Bacteria can be selectively adhered to metal caps of ‘Janus’ colloids to create multi-flagellated bio hybrid systems.

Bio-hybrid motors focus on the interaction of a motile cell with artificial materials to create a mobile system that is powered by cellular actuation. Bio-hybrids are not powered by toxic chemical fuels but by biological fluids, making them ideal for biomedical applications. They are responsive to their local environment (pH, temperature, and chemical gradients) and are capable of performing complex tasks that synthetic-only motors would not be capable of. We have coupled E. coli bacteria with metal capped ‘Janus’ colloids to create a multi-flagellated bio-hybrid system. E. coli adheres selectively to the metal cap of the Janus particle and the polystyrene side of the Janus particle can be used for localized drug attachment.

Read more:
Biohybrid Janus Motors Driven by Escherichia Coli
Morgan M. Stanton, Juliane Simmchen, Xing Ma, Albert Miguel-López, and Samuel Sánchez
Advanced Materials Interfaces 2016 3, 1500505

Flexible sensors and soft robotics

Soft materials and architectures that conform to and create an intimate matching with soft and non-planar body surfaces offer intriguing opportunities in biomedicine. A recent line of research in our group is to investigates soft and flexible systems oriented towards hydrid bio-robotics and wearable electronics for biosensing. On the one hand, we are interested in the fabrication of soft hybrid bio-bots based on 2D bio-fabrication and 3D bio-printing techniques. Here, artificial components (hydrogels, polymers, nanoparticles etc.) and biological cells are integrated to produce different types of controlled actuation, paving the way for complex hybrid systems. On the other hand, we develop flexible biosensors for non-invasive, cost-effective and personalized monitoring of bio-analytes in biological fluids. Such devices could play a key role in reducing the costs associated with clinical and biomedical diagnostic procedures. We focus on sensors based on electrochemical and colorimetric detection, as they are particularly suited for low-cost, portable and user-friendly medical diagnostics.

Read more:
Miniaturized soft bio-hybrid robotics: a step forward into healthcare applications
Tania Patino, Rafael Mestre, Samuel Sánchez
Lab Chip, 2016 1619, 3626-3630
Smart biosensors for multiplexed and fully integrated point-of-care diagnostics
Agostino Romeo, Tammy Sue Leung, and Samuel Sánchez
Lab Chip, 2016 16, 1957-1961
Flexible sensors for biomedical technology
Diana Vilela, Agostino Romeo, and Samuel Sánchez
Lab Chip, 2016 16, 402-408


EU-funded projects
LT-NRBS Lab-in-a-tube and Nanorobotic biosensors (2013-2017) ERC Starting Grant Samuel Sánchez
Microcleaners Active microcleaners for water remediation (2016-2018) ERC Proof of Concept Grant Samuel Sánchez
National projects
MicroDia Sistemas Lab-on-a-chip basados en micro-nanomotores para el diagnóstico de enfermedades (2016-2018) MINECO, Retos investigación: Proyectos I+D Samuel Sánchez
ENZWIM Nanomotores de nanopartículas mesoporosas impulsados por enzimas MINECO, Explora Samuel Sánchez
Privately funded projects
Mesoporous Silica Micro/Nano-motors as Active Drug Delivery Vehicles (2014-2016) Alexander von Humboldt Foundation Ma Xing
LOC-Systems based on Nano/Micromachines for Food Safety Applications (2014-2016) Alexander von Humboldt Foundation Diana Vilela


For a list of publications prior to joining IBEC, visit the MPI for Intelligent Systems website.

Simmchen, Juliane, Baeza, Alejandro, Miguel-Lopez, Albert, Stanton, Morgan M., Vallet-Regi, Maria, Ruiz-Molina, Daniel, Sánchez, Samuel, (2017). Dynamics of novel photoactive AgCl microstars and their environmental applications ChemNanoMat 3, 1, 65-71

Katuri, Jaideep, Ma, Xing, Stanton, Morgan M., Sánchez, Samuel, (2017). Designing micro- and nanoswimmers for specific applications Accounts of Chemical Research 50, 1, 2-11

Stanton, M. M., Park, B. W., Miguel-López, A., Ma, X., Sitti, M., Sánchez, S., (2017). Biohybrid microtube swimmers driven by single captured bacteria Small Early View (Online Version of Record published before inclusion in an issue),

Stanton, Morgan M., Sánchez, Samuel, (2017). Pushing bacterial biohybrids to In Vivo Applications Trends in Biotechnology In Press Corrected Proof,

Ma, Xing, Sánchez, Samuel, (2017). Self-propelling micro-nanorobots: challenges and future perspectives in nanomedicine Nanomedicine Epub ahead of print,

Vilela, Diana, Parmar, Jemish, Zeng, Yongfei, Zhao, Yanli, Sánchez, Samuel, (2016). Graphene based microbots for toxic heavy metal removal and recovery from water Nano Letters 16, 4, 2860-2866

Ma, Xing, Horteläo, Ana C., Patiño, Tania, Sánchez, Samuel, (2016). Enzyme catalysis to power micro/nanomachines ACS Nano 10, 10, 9111–9122

Ma, Xing, Wang, Xu, Hahn, Kersten, Sánchez, Samuel, (2016). Motion control of urea powered biocompatible hollow microcapsules ACS Nano 10, 3, 3597-3605

Ma, Xing, Jang, Seungwook, Popescu, Mihail N., Uspal, William E., Miguel-López, Albert, Hahn, Kersten, Kiam, Dong-Pyo, Sánchez, Samuel, (2016). Reversed Janus micro/nanomotors with internal chemical engine ACS Nano 10, 9, 8751-8759 [Open Access]

Ma, Xing, Hortelao, Ana C., Miguel-López, Albert, Sánchez, Samuel, (2016). Bubble-free propulsion of ultrasmall tubular nanojets powered by biocatalytic reactions Journal of the American Chemical Society 138, 42, 13782–13785

Simmchen, J., Katuri, J., Uspal, W. E., Popescu, M. N., Tasinkevych, M., Sánchez, S., (2016). Topographical pathways guide chemical microswimmers Nature Communications 7, 10598

Parmar, J., Vilela, D., Pellicer, E., Esqué-de los Ojos, D., Sort, J., Sánchez, S., (2016). Reusable and long-lasting active microcleaners for heterogeneous water remediation Advanced Functional Materials 26, 23, 4152-4161

Maggi, Claudio, Simmchen, Juliane, Saglimbeni, Filippo, Katuri, Jaideep, Dipalo, Michele, De Angelis, Francesco, Sánchez, Samuel, Di Leonardo, Roberto, (2016). Self-assembly of micromachining systems powered by Janus micromotors Small 12, 4, 446-451

Katuri, J., Seo, K. D., Kim, D. S., Sánchez, S., (2016). Artificial micro-swimmers in simulated natural environments Lab on a Chip 16, 7, 1101-1105

Vilela, Diana, Romeo, Agostino, Sánchez, Samuel, (2016). Flexible sensors for biomedical technology Lab on a Chip 16, 3, 402-408

Safdar, M., Janis, J., Sánchez, S., (2016). Microfluidic fuel cells for energy generation Lab on a Chip 16, 15, 2754-2758

Patino, T., Mestre, R., Sánchez, S., (2016). Miniaturized soft bio-hybrid robotics: a step forward into healthcare applications Lab on a Chip 16, 19, 3626-3630

Caballero, D., Katuri, J., Samitier, J., Sánchez, S., (2016). Motion in microfluidic ratchets Lab on a Chip 16, 23, 4477-4481

Romeo, A., Leung, T. S., Sánchez, S., (2016). Smart biosensors for multiplexed and fully integrated point-of-care diagnostics Lab on a Chip 16, 11, 1957-1961

Stanton, Morgan M., Simmchen, Juliane, Ma, Xing, Miguel-López, Albert, Sánchez, Samuel, (2016). Biohybrid Janus motors driven by Escherichia coli Advanced Materials Interfaces 3, 2, 1500505

Ma, X., Jannasch, A., Albrecht, U. R., Hahn, K., Miguel-López, A., Schäffer, E., Sánchez, S., (2015). Enzyme-powered hollow mesoporous Janus nanomotors Nano Letters 15, 10, 7043-7050

Ma, X., Hahn, K., Sánchez, S., (2015). Catalytic mesoporous janus nanomotors for active cargo delivery Journal of the American Chemical Society 137, 15, 4976-4979

Sánchez, S., Soler, L., Katuri, J., (2015). Chemically powered micro- and nanomotors Angewandte Chemie - International Edition 54, 4, 1414-1444

Ma, X., Katuri, J., Zeng, Y., Zhao, Y., Sánchez, S., (2015). Surface conductive graphene-wrapped micromotors exhibiting enhanced motion Small 11, 38, 5023–5027

Choudhury, Udit, Soler, Lluis, Gibbs, John, Sánchez, Samuel, Fischer, Peer, (2015). Surface roughness-induced speed increase for active Janus micromotors Chemical Communications 51, 8660-8663

Stanton, M. M., Trichet-Paredes, C., Sánchez, S., (2015). Applications of three-dimensional (3D) printing for microswimmers and bio-hybrid robotics Lab on a Chip 15, 7, 1634-1637

Stanton, M. M., Samitier, J., Sánchez, S., (2015). Bioprinting of 3D hydrogels Lab on a Chip 15, 15, 3111-3115

Seo, K. D., Kim, D. S., Sánchez, S., (2015). Fabrication and applications of complex-shaped microparticles via microfluidics Lab on a Chip 15, 18, 3622-3626

Parmar, Jemish, Jang, Seungwook, Soler, Lluis, Kim, Dong-Pyo, Sánchez, Samuel, (2015). Nano-photocatalysts in microfluidics, energy conversion and environmental applications Lab on a Chip 15, 2352-2356

Wang, Lei, Sánchez, Samuel, (2015). Self-assembly via microfluidics Lab on a Chip 15, 23, 4383-4386

Arayanarakool, Rerngchai, Meyer, Anne K., Helbig, Linda, Sánchez, Samuel, Schmidt, Oliver G., (2015). Tailoring three-dimensional architectures by rolled-up nanotechnology for mimicking microvasculatures Lab on a Chip 15, 2981-2989

Mendes, Rafael Gregorio, Koch, Britta, Bachmatiuk, Alicja, Ma, Xing, Sánchez, Samuel, Damm, Christine, Schmidt, Oliver G., Gemming, Thomas, Eckert, Jurgen, Rummeli, Mark H., (2015). A size dependent evaluation of the cytotoxicity and uptake of nanographene oxide Journal of Materials Chemistry B 3, 12, 2522-2529

Paxton, W., Sánchez, S., Nitta, T., (2015). Guest editorial: Special issue micro- and nanomachines IEEE Transactions on Nanobioscience 14, 3, 258-259

Seo, K. D., Kwak, B. K., Sánchez, S., Kim, D. S., (2015). Microfluidic-assisted fabrication of flexible and location traceable organo-motor IEEE Transactions on Nanobioscience 14, 3, 298-304

Khalil, I. S. M., Magdanz, V., Sánchez, S., Schmidt, O. G., Misra, S., (2015). Precise localization and control of catalytic janus micromotors using weak magnetic fields International Journal of Advanced Robotic Systems 12, 2, 1-7


  • Autolab Galvostat/potentiostat (Metrohm)
  • Dynamic light scattering (Wyatt)
  • Langmuir Blodgett (KSV NIMA)
  • Inverted Fluorescent microscope with cell incubator, galvo stage for 3D tracking (Leica DMi8); Upright microscope (Leica)
  • Video camera (1000+ fps) (Hamamatsu)
  • High speed camera (10000+ fps) (Vision Research)
  • CCD video camera (100fps) (Thorlabs)
  • Centrifuge (Eppendorf)
  • UV- Visible spectrometer (Analytik Jena)
  • 3D printer (Formlabs)
  • Wave form source; Voltage amplifier (Tabor Electronics)
  • DC power supply (Hameg)
  • Oscilloscope (Rigol)
  • Testtube heater; Eppendorf tube Shaker (Hach)
  • Oxygen Plasma cleaner (Deiner Electronics)
  • TOC Analyser (Analytik Jena)
  • Spin coater (Laurell)
  • High vacuum film deposition system (Leica Microsystems)
  • UV irradiation system (Vilber Lourmat)
  • Portable potentiostat-galvanostat and multiplexer (PalmSens)
  • Sonicator (Branson)


  • Prof. D.P. Kim
    National Center of Applied Microfluidic Chemistry, Department of Chemical Engineering, POSTECH (Pohang University of Science and Technology), Korea
  • Prof. D.S. Kim
    Department of Mechanical Engineering, POSTECH, Pohang, Korea
  • Prof. M. Rümmeli
    Sungkyunkwan (SKKU) University, Seoul, Korea / IFW Dresden, Germany
  • Prof. P. Fischer
    Molecular, Micro- and Nano- machines, Max-Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems, Stuttgart, Germany
  • Prof. S. Dietrich, Dr. M. Popescu, M. Tasinkevych, Dr. W. Uspal
    Theory of Soft Condensed Matter, MPI for Intelligent Systems, Stuttgart, Germany
  • Prof. M. Sitti
    Physical Intelligence department, MPI for Intelligent Systems
  • Prof. C. Bechinger
    Faculty 2 of Physics, University of Stuttgart, Germany
  • Prof. C. Holm and Dr. J. de Graaf
    Faculty of Mathematics, University of Stuttgart, Germany
  • Dr. L. Ionov Leibniz
    Institute for Polymer Research, Dresden, Germany (now at Georgia University, USA)
  • Prof. O.G. Schmidt, Dr. A-K. Meyer, Mrs.V. Magdanz
    Institute for Integrative Nanosciences, Leibnitz Institute for Solid State and Materials Research, Dresden, Germany
  • Dr. A-K. Meyer
    Division of Neurodegenerative Diseases and Center for Regenerative Therapies Dresden (CRTD) Technische Universität Dresden, Germany
  • Prof. A. Richter
    Institut für Halbleiter- und Mikrosystemtechnik, Technische Universität Dresden, Dresden, Germany
  • Dr. B. Friedrich
    Max Planck Institute for the Physics of Complex Systems, Dresden, Germany
  • Prof. J. Spatz, Dr. J-H. Dirks
    Biomaterials Department, MPI for Intelligent Systems
  • Prof. D. H. Gracias
    The John Hopkins Universtity, Baltimore, USA
  • Prof. S. Misra
    Robotics, Technical University of Twente, Enschede, The Netherlands
  • Prof. R. Di Leonardo
    Universtità La Sapienza, Rome, Italy
  • Prof. M. Pumera
    Division of Chemistry & Biological Chemistry, Nanyang Technical University, Singapore
  • Prof. Y. Zhao, Y. Zeng
    Nanyang Technical University, Singapore
  • Mr. M. Safdar
    University of East Finland, Helsinki, Finland
  • Prof. J. Sort, Dr. Eva Pellicer
    Physics Department, Universitat Autònoma de Bellaterra (UAB), Spain
  • Dr. D. Esqué
    The School of Materials, The University of Manchester, UK
  • Dr. C. K. Schmidt, Dr. R. Carazo-Salas and Prof. S. Jackson
    Welcome Trust/Cancer Research UK Gurdon Institute, University of Cambridge, UK
  • Dr. W. Paxton
    Sandia National Labs, Alburquerque, USA
  • Prof. H. Hess
    Columbia University, New York, USA
  • Prof. L. Liz-Marzán, Dr. J. Llop
    CIC BiomaGUNE, San Sebastián, Spain
  • Dr. A. Pego
    nBTT – nanoBiomaterials for Targeted Therapies Group, INEB and i3S, Porto, Portugal
  • Prof. J. Gibbs
    North Arizona University, USA
  • Dr. A. Romeo
    Institute of Materials for Electronics and Magnetism, National Research Council, Parma, Italy
  • Prof. F. Ricci
    Dipartimento di Scienze e Tecnologie Chimiche Università di Roma Tor Vergata, Rome, Italy
  • Prof. E. Fàbregas
    Sensors and Biosensors, Chemistry department, UAB, Spain
  • Dr. Ll. Soler
    Institute of Energy Technologies (INTE), UPC (ETSEIB), Barcelona
  • Dr. C.S. Martínez-Cisneros
    Universidad Carlos III, Madrid, Spain


“Swimming microbots can remove pathogenic bacteria from water”

ACS highlights our work on using microbots to kill pathogenic bacteria.

“En vint anys, amb nanorobots podrem transportar fàrmacs per dins el cos”

This weekend Samuel Sanchez was interviewed by El Punt Avui and ABC talking about nanorobots and the future of medicine.

L’Illa de Robinson, 22/03/2017

Premi Nacional de Recerca winners Samuel Sanchez and ICFO’s Lluís Torner appeared on El Punt Avui’s L’Illa de Robinson programme on Wednesday, after the awards ceremony on Tuesday night. It’s just one example of the huge amount of press coverage there’s been about the awards.

Samuel receives Premi Nacional de Recerca al Talent Jove

IBEC group leader and ICREA research professor Samuel Sánchez was one of the five honorees at the ceremony of the Premis Nacionals de Recerca 2016 of the Fundació Catalana per a la Recerca i la Innovació (FCRI).

Samuel Sánchez wins National Research Award for Young Talent

IBEC group leader and ICREA researcher Samuel Sánchez has been announced as the winner of this year’s Premi Nacional de Recerca al Talent Jove (National Research Award for Young Talent) from the Generalitat de Catalunya and the Catalan Foundation for Research and Innovation (FCRI).

Record-breaking nanojets that use safe fuel

IBEC group leader and ICREA research professor Samuel Sanchez’s latest nanojets have set a new world record for the smallest man-made jet engine ever.

Samuel wows crowd with nanorobots talk

An audience of nearly a hundred enjoyed a special public seminar by IBEC group leader and ICREA research professor Samuel Sánchez.
The Smart nano-bio-devices group leader’s talk, Nanorobots de la ciència-ficció a la realitat, which took place in the PCB’s Sala Dolors Aleu, was one of this year’s Setmana de la Ciència events.

La 2: Tips, 19/10/16

Group leader and ICREA professor Samuel Sanchez appeared as a guest on the La 2 magazine programme Tips on Wednesday 19th.

La 1: Telediario, 05/10/16

Group leader Samuel Sanchez appeared on Telediario, channel 1’s news programme, commenting about the work of the Nobel Prize winners for chemistry, which were announced in the first week of October.

“Els Premiats FPdGi Olga Felip, Samuel Sánchez, Ignasi Belda i Mohamed El Amrani, conversen amb l’humorista Juan Carlos Ortega”

A round table discussion involving Samuel Sánchez, last year’s winner of the Princess of Girona Foundation (FPdGi) Award for Scientific Research, and other former winners was filmed at the recent FPdGi 2016 awards ceremony in Girona.

“Investigadors ICREA: el motor de la recerca catalana des de fa 15 anys”

Samuel Sanchez features in an article in ARA magazine this week which marks the 15th anniversary of ICREA.

“Entrevista Samuel Sánchez / J.M. Mainat”

A video of Samuel Sánchez taking part in April’s Festival de Nanociencia y Nanotecnología.

“Graphene Microbots Built to Scour Water of Heavy Metals”

Samuel Sánchez’s recent NanoLetters paper about self-propelled tiny ‘microbots’ that can remove lead from contaminated water gets lots of coverage this week by news channels such as Discovery News, and several more.

“Nanotecnólogo médico, guía de la información y maestro de emociones”

Samuel Sánchez featured on Oficiorama, a programme devoted to the technology of the future, which airs on TV2 on Saturdays.

Tiny microbots that can clean up water

IBEC researchers have developed a self-propelled tiny ‘microbot’ that can remove lead from contaminated water.

“Trabajar con cápsulas mil veces más pequeñas que el cabello humano”

Samuel Sanchez and the part of his lab that resides at the MPI for Intelligent Systems in Stuttgart feature in a chapter of a video series by El Pais, La Carrera Especial.

Moving in important circles

IBEC group leader and ICREA research professor Samuel Sánchez is the winner of this year’s edition of the Círculo Ecuestre’s Premio Joven Relevante.

“Micromotores, el próximo paso en el transporte de fármacos”

Samuel Sanchez’s recent Nature Communications paper on micromotors that use surface variations for docking and guiding was the subject of an article in El Mundo today.

La Sexta Noche, 06-02-16

IBEC group leader and ICREA research professor Samuel Sánchez was one of two scientists taking part in a studio discussion on La Sexta Noche on Saturday, in a segment about what it’s like to be a talented young scientist or entrepreneur in the financial climate of Spain today.

Micromotors use surface variations for docking and guiding

Researchers at the Institute for Bioengineering of Catalonia (IBEC), the Max-Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems and the University of Stuttgart have revealed in an article in Nature Communications today that micromotors can be guided using tiny topographical patterns on the surfaces over which they swim.

“Seis aplicaciones robóticas que no conocías”

Samuel Sánchez’s nanorobots are one of the “Seis aplicaciones robóticas que no conocías” described in an article in El País today.

ERC funding to tackle pollutants in water

IBEC group leader and ICREA research professor Samuel Sánchez is to receive an ERC Proof of Concept grant to explore the innovation potential of some of his research. His project “Active microcleaners for water remediation” (Microcleaners) will tackle the huge rise in pollutants in water that has been the result of the massive growth in industrial, domestic and agricultural activities.

“Entrevista al investigador Samuel Sánchez Ordóñez: “Son smart nano-bio-devices. Nanorobots autopropulsados”

Article and video at

“Des nanorobots pour lutter contre le cancer”

Following his appearance at Emtech France in Toulouse in December 2015, Samuel Sánchez featured in French daily newspaper La Tribune.

(See the video of Samuel’s talk at Emtech France here).

Harnessing E. coli to power micromotors for drug delivery

An IBEC researcher and his collaborators have taken the next step in their quest to achieve safe micromotors for medical drug and cargo delivery by developing a version that is powered by bacteria.

“Submarinos microscópicos para atacar células cancerígenas”

El País has published a “Ciencia en Español” video interview with Samuel Sanchez featuring footage of his nanorobots, which can be seen whizzing through through liquid using the expulsion of oxygen bubbles as propulsion.

“Alucinantes nanorobots combatirán el cáncer navegando por nuestras venas”

A video about Samuel Sanchez and his work is the latest addition to the El País/Vodafone One video archive. The collection helps promote the public understanding of technology, scientific advances and innovations, and how they affect our daily lives.

IBEC researcher in “Innovators Under 35” European Summit

IBEC group leader Samuel Sánchez was one of the experts invited to attend the Innovators Under 35 European Summit in Brussels last week, a gathering of the European winners of MIT Technology Review’s “Innovators under 35” list.

Learning from the experts

IBEC group leader Samuel Sanchez was one of the experts and professionals invited to take part in CEDE’s “Talento en Crecimiento” event at the Palacio de Exposiciones y Congresos in A Coruña at the beginning of the month.

Safe nanomotors propelled by sugar

Researchers at IBEC and their collaborators have made a breakthrough in nanomotors for applications in medicine by developing the first ever fully biocompatible self-propelling particles that are powered by enzymes that consume biological fuels, such as glucose.

Samuel Sánchez: “Arriésgate, no tengas miedo a la aventura”

IBEC group leader Samuel Sánchez was the subject of La Vanguardia’s “Big Vang questionnaire”.

“Nanomáquinas para la salud”

On 30 June the rtve science programme Lab24 featured an interview with new IBEC group leader Samuel Sánchez, who describes his research on micro and nanomotors.

“Un químico que puede superar la ciencia ficción”

IBEC group leader Samuel Sánchez was the subject of an article in El Periódico on Tuesday.

“El cerebro que vuelve”

An article about new IBEC group leader Samuel Sanchez by Josep Corbella in La Vanguardia yesterday talks about the ‘brain gain’ of having the nanotechnologist return to Catalonia after several years in Japan, the USA and Germany.

“Robots del tamaño de virus”

El Periódico features an interview with Samuel Sànchez following the announcement last week that he has been awarded the Premio Fundación Princesa de Girona Investigación Científica 2015.

Samuel Sánchez wins FPdGi award for scientific research

IBEC group leader Samuel Sánchez is this year’s winner of the Premio Fundación Princesa de Girona Investigación Científica for his advances in in the field of nanotechnology. Samuel’s work was recognised in particular for his pioneering design of self-propelled nanorobots that could improve the accuracy of drug delivery, as well as having potential environmental applications.

“El sueño de los nanorobots” and “Robots del tamaño del virus”

New IBEC group leader Samuel Sánchez appears in articles in El Mundo and El Periodico today, talking about his career so far, his new appointment at IBEC and the work he will be continuing on micro- and nanomotors.

New IBEC group leader a top name in nanomotors

One of the world’s top researchers – and a record-breaker – in the field of nano- and microrobots is coming to Barcelona to continue his career. The Institute for Bioengineering of Catalonia (IBEC) welcomes Dr. Samuel Sánchez (Terrassa, 1980), who is taking up a new Group Leader position there this month.


acscoversamuel2016ACS Nano

Xing Ma, Ana C. Hortelão, Tania Patiño, and Samuel Sánchez (2016). Enzyme Catalysis To Power Micro/Nanomachines. ACS Nano, Volume 10, Issue 10, pp. 9053–9762

ami cover-samuelAdvanced Materials Interfaces

Morgan M. Stanton, Juliane Simmchen, Xing Ma, Albert Miguel-López, Samuel Sánchez* (2015). Bio-hybrid Janus Motors Driven by Escherichia coli. Adv Mat Interfaces

small cover samuelSmall

Xing Ma, Jaideep Katuri, Yongfei Zeng, Yanli Zhao and Samuel Sanchez (2015). Janus Micromotors: Surface Conductive Graphene-Wrapped Micromotors Exhibiting Enhanced Motion. Small, 11, 38, p4989


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