• biocatalysis;
  • degradation of pollutants;
  • enzymes;
  • self-propelled tip;
  • self-released agent


The first example of a self-propelled tubular motor that releases an enzyme for the efficient biocatalytic degradation of chemical pollutants is demonstrated. How the motors are self-propelled by the Marangoni effect, involving simultaneous release of SDS surfactant and the enzyme remediation agent (laccase) in the polluted sample, is illustrated. The movement induces fluid convection and leads to the rapid dispersion of laccase into the contaminated solution and to a dramatically accelerated biocatalytic decontamination process. The greatly improved degradation efficiency, compared to quiescent solutions containing excess levels of the free enzyme, is illustrated for the efficient biocatalytic degradation of phenolic and azo-type pollutants. The high efficiency of the motor-based decontamination approach makes it extremely attractive for a wide-range of remediation processes in the environmental, defense and public health fields.