Human tissues experience a variety of mechanical stimuli that can affect their ability to carry out their physiological functions, such as protecting organs from injury. The controlled application of such stimuli to living tissues in vivo and in vitro has now proven instrumental to studying the conditions that lead to disease.
At EPFL, Selman Sakar’s research team has developed micromachines able to mechanically stimulate cells and microtissue. These tools, which are powered by cell-sized artificial muscles, can carry out complicated manipulation tasks under physiological conditions on a microscopic scale.
The tools consist of microactuators and soft robotic devices that are wirelessly activated by laser beams. They can also incorporate microfluidic chips, which means they can be used to perform combinatorial tests that involve high-throughput chemical and mechanical stimulation of a variety of biological samples. This research has been published in Lab on a Chip.
The scientists came up with the idea after observing the locomotor system in action. “We wanted to create a modular system powered by the contraction of distributed actuators and the deformation of compliant mechanisms,” says Sakar.
Their system involves assembling various hydrogel components – as if they were Lego bricks – to form a compliant skeleton, and then creating tendon-like polymer connections between the skeleton and the microactuators. By combining the bricks and actuators in different ways, scientists can create an array of complicated micromachines.
“Our soft actuators contract rapidly and efficiently when activated by near-infrared light. When the entire nanoscale actuator network contracts, it tugs on the surrounding device components and powers the machinery,” says Berna Ozkale, the study’s lead author.
With this method, scientists are able to remotely activate multiple microactuators at specified locations – a dexterous approach that produces exceptional results. The microactuators complete each contraction-relaxation cycle in milliseconds with large strain.
In addition to its utility in fundamental research, this technology offers practical applications as well. For instance, doctors could use these devices as tiny medical implants to mechanically stimulate tissue or to actuate mechanisms for the on-demand delivery of biological agents.
The Latest on: Micromachines
via Google News
The Latest on: Micromachines
- What Are You Playing This Weekend?on July 8, 2021 at 6:30 pm
Well, a lot of bloody video games as it turns out. Sydney's lockdown has been extended to 2020-esque levels, so this weekend is going to be a lot of virtual escapism for those within the Greater ...
- Robotics and Medicineon July 1, 2021 at 5:01 pm
Figure 2. (a) Origami-like 3D functional micromachines fabricated from a composite of hydrogel layers and magnetic nanoparticles. The micromachines possess many possible magnetization modes ...
- A new book is looking at the craft and legacy of Micro Machineson June 28, 2021 at 12:33 am
“Remember, if it doesn’t say Micro Machines, it’s not the real thing!” Some will no doubt recognise this slogan from the Micro Machines ads that aired in the late 80s and 90s. The line was uttered at ...
- Hot Wheels Unleashed Preview: Tiny Racing With Huge Potentialon June 24, 2021 at 9:14 am
I don’t know if there has. If you say ‘toy car’ and ‘video game’ to me, I’d say Micro Machines; that’s the iconic marriage of miniature racing and video games. However, now I’ve ...
- Hot Wheels Unleashedon June 24, 2021 at 8:04 am
Hot Wheels is without a shadow of a doubt one of the most iconic toy brands in the entire world. The miniature vehicle manufacturer not only grew to become a toy titan by producing replicas of real ...
- Scientists achieve ultra-fast optical orbiting of nanoparticles at subdiffraction scaleon June 17, 2021 at 9:28 am
the NA of the objective lens, and the material of the nanoparticles, it can be widely applied in various fields, such as optical micromachines, nanorheology, laser microfabrication, and so on.
- Micro machines experience thrill of victory, agony of defeat at Mobile Microrobotics Challengeon June 2, 2021 at 5:00 pm
It's time to take a glimpse into the future -- the future of what will someday be swimming in your bloodstream. Video highlights from the 2010 NIST Mobile Microrobotics Challenge have started ...
- Hot Wheels Unleashed Wants to Make Arcade Racing Fans Feel Young Againon May 28, 2021 at 5:41 am
If you asked a friend what comes to mind if you mention the words ‘toy car’ and ‘video game’, it feels likely their answer would be Micro Machines. The original Micro Machines game is an iconic smash ...
- MEMS deformable mirror grant from NASA awarded to BMC for exoplanet imagingon May 21, 2021 at 5:00 pm
Cambridge, MA--Boston Micromachines Corporation was awarded a Phase II SBIR for $750,000 to support NASA's Exoplanet Exploration program. One of NASA's core objectives is to search for earth-sized ...
- Specialist achievement in Micro Machines World Serieson April 20, 2021 at 11:40 pm
Special Events can be found in the main menu, they change each week and range from races, eliminations to capture the flag matches, but with a special twist. All you need to do is play the event ...
via Bing News