The past decade has seen an upsurge in the development of small-scale magnetic robots for various biomedical applications. However, many of the reported designs comprise components with biocompatibility concerns. Strategies for fabricating biocompatible and degradable microrobots are required. In this study, polyvinyl alcohol (PVA)-based magnetic hydrogel microrobots with different morphologies and tunable stability are developed by combining a 3D printed template-assisted casting with a salting-out process. 3D sacrificial micromolds are prepared via direct laser writing to shape PVA-magnetic nanoparticle composite hydrogel microrobots with high architectural complexity. By adjusting the PVA composition and salting-out parameters, the hydrogel dissolubility can be customized. Due to their high mobility, tunable stability, and high biocompatibility, these PVA-based magnetic microrobots are suitable platforms for targeted drug and cell delivery.

Sanchis-Gual, H. Ye, T. Ueno, F. C. Landers, L. Hertle, S. Deng, A. Veciana, Y. Xia, C. Franco, H. Choi, J. Puigmartí-Luis, B. J. Nelson, X.-Z. Chen, S. Pané, 3D Printed Template-Assisted Casting of Biocompatible Polyvinyl Alcohol-Based Soft Microswimmers with Tunable Stability. Adv. Funct. Mater. 2023, 33, 2212952.

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