Microrobotics Manufacturing, Testing and Evaluation

Microrobotics is a rising technology that is intriguing to the biotechnology industry and the environmental sciences due to its versatile nature and incredible potential. Microrobot design and function are widely varied, but their small size and use in manipulating objects at the micro-scale define them. Microrobotics can be applied to disease monitoring and treatment, therapeutics, and environmental remediation.

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Microbiotics researchers rely on Harrick Plasma Cleaners for two key functions:

  • Microfluidic device fabrication for microrobotics testing and evaluation
  • Microrobot manufacturing procedures

Microrobotics Manufacturing

Featuring micro-scale sizes, microrobots demand exacting precision and handling throughout manufacturing. Plasma treatment increases the ability to wet the surface, improving adhesion between crucial materials.

The following studies examined how plasma treatment was utilized throughout microrobot manufacturing:

  • In Zhu et al.’s study, gear-shaped microrobots with several functions were studied under several frequency responses for use in the biomedical field. Harrick Plasma Cleaning was used to attach a glass slide to microgears during fabrication.
  • In Taccola et al., microactuators were created. The Harrick Plasma Cleaner increased the wettability of a PDMS component before PEDOT:PSS deposition.

Microrobotics Testing and Evaluation

Evaluating and testing microrobot function demands that microenvironment development be equally precise. Microfluidic devices are typically used to mimic the cellular microenvironment and can be applied to this purpose.

Plasma can improve material biocompatibility, offering more control over the microenvironment in microchannels and other testing surfaces. Below, plasma treatment has been used to develop microrobotic testing platforms, including microfluidic devices:

  • In Behrens et al., researchers created magnetically actuated microrobots that can autonomously navigate a biomimetic microenvironment. PDMS Bonding via plasma treatment created the microfluidic devices utilized in testing and evaluation.
  • New strategies with microrobotics are being researched in response to the increase in antimicrobial resistance and low effect of the antibiotic treatment of microbial cells in biofilms. In Deng et al., engineered diatoms invade coli biofilms with oxygen bubbles. The self-locomotive, antimicrobial microrobot (SLAM) creates O2 bubbles in the hollow, rod-shaped tunnel. The Harrick Plasma Cleaner was utilized to clean a polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) surface before biofilm formation, acting as the substrate in the microrobotic experiments.
  • In Yilmaz et al., wound healing is researched in microfluidic devices. The microfluidic devices were built from plasma-cleaning PDMS and glass. The wounds were developed in the microfluidic channels by magnetic microrobots under the closed system.

References and Further Reading

Microrobotics Manufacturing: Articles by Harrick Plasma Users

  • Taccola S, Greco F, Mazzolai B, Mattoli V, Jager EWH. “Thin film free-standing PEDOT:PSS/SU8 bilayer microactuators.” J Micromech Microeng. (2013) 23(11):117004. 10.1088/0960-1317/23/11/117004
  • Taccola S, Greco F, Sinibaldi E, Mondini A, Mazzolai B, and Mattoli V. “Toward a new generation of electrically controllable hygromorphic soft actuators”. Adv. Mater. (2015) 27: 1668–1675. 10.1002/adma.201404772
  • Zhu S, Zheng W, Wang J, Fang X, Zhang L, Niu F, Wang Y, Luo T, Liua G and Yang R. “Interactive and synergistic behaviours of multiple heterogeneous microrobots.” Lab Chip. (2022) 22(18): 3412-3423. 10.1039/D2LC00265E

Microrobotics Testing and Evaluation: Articles by Harrick Plasma Users

  • Yilmaz A, Karavelioglu Z, Aydemir G, Demircali AA, Varol R, Kosar A and Uvet H. “Microfluidic wound scratching platform based on an untethered microrobot with magnetic actuation.” Sensors and Actuators B: Chemical. (2022) 373: 132643. 10.1016/j.snb.2022.132643
  • Behrens MR. “Engineering automated microrobotic systems with machine learning-based control for biomedical applications.” University of Pittsburgh 2022. PhD Thesis.
  • Deng YH, Ricciardulli T, Won J, Wade MA, Rogers SA, Boppart SA, Flaherty DW and Kong H. ‘Self-locomotive, antimicrobial microrobot (Slam) swarm for enhanced biofilm elimination.” Biomaterials (2022) 287:121610. 10.1016/j.biomaterials.2022.121610

This information has been sourced, reviewed and adapted from materials provided by Harrick Plasma.

For more information on this source, please visit Harrick Plasma.

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