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Magnetotactic bacteria

Magnetotactic bacteria are a group of bacteria which have a chain of magnetic nanoparticles inside. Flagella provide their motility, while magnetic chains allow bacteria to follow magnetic field lines. These bacteria are interesting as a source of magnetic material, as well as 

Electronic microscopy image of magnetotactic bacteria

Our interest lies in using magnetotactic bacteria as a motile magnetic object, which can be controlled with an external magnetic field. For example, a rotating magnetic field will force bacteria to swim in circles in the plane of rotation, while constant field will enforce bacteria motion along the selected axis.

Magnetotactic bacteria in a rotating magnetic field

Reversal of magnetotactic bacteria swimming direction 

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  • A. Cēbers (2011). Diffusion of magnetotactic bacterium in rotating magnetic field. Journal of Magnetism and Magnetic Materials, 323(3-4), 279–282. link
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