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Xiaopu Wang

Education Background

PhD (ETH Zurich, Switzerland)

Master (Chinese Academy of Sciences, China)

Bachelor (Shanxi University, China)

Research Field
Microrobotics+Biomedical engineering+Micro- and nanofabrication


Xiaopu Wang got her bachelor's degree from Shanxi University in 2012. Then, she joined Technical Institute of Physics and Chemistry of the Chinese Academy of Sciences as a master student, working on photosensitizers for photopolymerization and photodynamic therapy. After she got her master's degree in 2015, she joined Prof. Bradley Nelson's lab at ETH Zurich for doctoral study, and her PhD research topic is magnetic microrobots for biomedical applications. Multiple disciplines were involved in her PhD research, including magnetic control, micro- and nanorobotics, biodegradable materials, drug delivery, and biomedical engineering. She got her PhD degree in 2020, and her doctoral thesis won the SSB+RM 2020 Research Award issued by the Swiss Society for Biomaterial and Regenerative Medicine. In May 2020, Dr. Xiaopu Wang joined Shenzhen Institute of Artificial Intelligence and Robotics for Society (AIRS) as an associate researcher.


Xiaopu Wang has achieved a series of outstanding research results in the field of microrobotics. She studied the fundamental physics of magnetically driven helical microrobots; extended the theory of magnetic helical microswimmers' motion from the no-slip boundary condition to the slip boundary condition; developed pH-sensitive MOFBOTs for environment triggered drug delivery in cancer cell regions; developed biodegradable microrobots that could be degraded by cells by pioneering the use of the hydrogel gelatin methacryloyl (GelMA) for microrobot fabrication using two-photon polymerization; and assessed the ability of GelMA-based microrobots for cell delivery and inducing neural cell differentiation. Some corresponding research results have been published in high-level international journals, including Advanced Materials, Advanced Functional Materials, ACS Nano, Science Advances.

Academic Publications:


1. Dong, M.; Wang, X.; Chen, X.-Z.; Mushtaq, F.; Deng, S.; Zhu, C.; Torlakcik, H.; Terzopoulou, A.; Qin, X. H.; Xiao, X.; Puigmartí-Luis, J.; Choi, H.; Shen, Q. D.; Nelson, B. J.; Pané, S., "3D-printed Soft Magnetoelectric Microswimmers for Delivery and Differentiation of Neuron-like Cells", Advanced Functional Materials, 2020, 1910323. (Co-First Author)

2. Mushtaq, F., Chen, X. Z., Staufert, S., Torlakcik, H., Wang, X., Hoop, M., Gerber, A., Li, X., Cai, J., Nelson, B. J.; Pané, S., “On-the-fly catalytic degradation of organic pollutants using magneto-photoresponsive bacteria-templated microcleaners”, Journal of Materials Chemistry A, 2019.

3. Wang, X.; Chen, X. Z.; Alcântara, C. C.; Sevim, S.; Hoop, M.; Terzopoulou, A.; de Marco, C.; Hu, C.; de Mello, A. J.; Falcaro, P.; Furukawa S.; Nelson, B. J.; Puigmartí-Luis J.; Pané, S., "MOFBOTS: Metal-Organic Framework-based Biomedical Microrobots", Advanced Materials, 2019, 1901592. (Front Cover)

4. Wang X., Huang X., Zhao Y., “Effect of aggregation behavior on linear and nonlinear photophysical properties of lipid-water amphiphilic photosensitizers”. Journal of Photochemistry and Photobiology A: Chemistry, 2019, 372, 206-211.

5. Schuerle, S.; Soleimany, A. P.; Yeh, T.; Anand, G. M.; Haberli, M.; Fleming, H. E.; Mirkhani, N.; Qiu, F.; Hauert, S.; Wang, X.; Nelson, B. J.; Bhatia, S. N., Synthetic and Living Micropropellers for Convection-Enhanced Nanoparticle Transport. Science Advances, 2019, 5, eaav4803.

6. Chen, X. Z.; Liu, J.-H.; Dong, M.; Müller, L.; Chatzipirpiridis, G.; Hu, C.; Terzopoulou, A.; Torlakcik, H.; Wang, X.; Mushtaq, F.; Puigmartí-Luis J.; Shen Q.; Nelson B. J.; Pané, S., Magnetically Driven Piezoelectric Soft Microswimmers for Neuron-Like Cell Delivery and Neuronal Differentiation. Materials Horizons, 2019.

7. Wang, X.; Qin, X. H.; Hu, C.; Terzopoulou, A.; Chen, X. Z.; Huang, T. Y.; Maniura-Weber, K.; Pané, S.; Nelson, B. J., "3D Printed Enzymatically Biodegradable Soft Helical Microswimmers", Advanced Functional Materials, 2018, 28, 1804107.

8. Wang, X.; Hu, C.; Schurz, L.; De Marco, C.; Chen, X.; Pané, S.; Nelson, B. J., "Surface Chemistry-Mediated Control of Individual Magnetic Helical Microswimmers in a Swarm", ACS Nano, 2018, 12, 6210.

9. Qin, X. H.; Wang, X.; Rottmar, M.; Nelson, B. J.; Maniura-Weber, K., "Near-Infrared Light-Sensitive Polyvinyl Alcohol Hydrogel Photoresist for Spatiotemporal Control of Cell-Instructive 3D Microenvironments", Advanced Materials, 2018, 30, 1705564. (Inside Back Cover)

10. Huang X., Wang X., Zhao Y., “Study on a Series of Water-Soluble Photoinitiators for Fabrication of 3D Hydrogels by Two-Photon Polymerization”. Dyes and Pigments, 2017, 141, 413-419.

11. Zou, Q., Zhao, H., Zhao, Y., Fang, Y., Chen, D., Ren, J., Wang X., Wang Y., Gu Y. and Wu F., “Effective Two-Photon Excited Photodynamic Therapy of Xenograft Tumors Sensitized by Water-Soluble bis (Arylidene) Cycloalkanone Photosensitizers”. Journal of medicinal chemistry, 2015, 58, 7949-7958.



1. Wang X., Qin X., Hu C., Chen X., Pané S., Maniura K., Nelson B. J., "Synthesis of Biodegradable Microrobots for Biomedical Applications", The Hamlyn Symposium on Medical Robotics, 2018, London, U.K.

2. Burri, J. T.; Hu, C.; Shamsudhin, N.; Wang, X.; Vogler, H.; Grossniklaus, U.; Nelson, B. J. "Dual-axis cellular force microscope for mechanical characterization of living plant cells", 2016 IEEE International Conference on Automation Science and Engineering (CASE). IEEE, 2016, Texas, U.S.

3. Wang X., Fang Y., Zou Q., Zhao Y., Wu F., "Initiation Efficiency and Cytotoxicity of a Series of Water-Soluble Benzylidene Cyclopentanone for Two-Photon Polymerization", Proc. SPIE 9268, Optics in Health Care and Biomedical Optics VI, 926824, 2014, Beijing, China.

4. Fang Y., Wang X., Zou Q., Zhao Y., Wu F., "Synthesis of Folate Receptor-Targeted Photosensitizers for Photodynamic Therapy", Proc. SPIE 9268, Optics in Health Care and Biomedical Optics VI, 92680O, 2014, Beijing, China.