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Micromachines 2018, 9(1), 15; doi:10.3390/mi9010015

New MEMS Tweezers for the Viscoelastic Characterization of Soft Materials at the Microscale

1
Department of Computer, Control, and Management Engineering Antonio Ruberti, University of Rome La Sapienza, Via Ariosto 25, I-00185 Roma, Italy
2
MNF - Micro nano fabrication and characterization Facility, Fondazione Bruno Kessler (FBK), Via Sommarive 18, I-38123 Trento, Italy
3
Head of Steering Committee of University Research and Innovation Center, Óbuda University, 96/b Becsi ut, H-1034 Budapest, Hungary
4
Department of Industrial Engineering, University of Trento, via Sommarive, 9-38123 Trento, Italy
5
ProM Facility, Trentino Sviluppo S.p.A., Via Zeni Fortunato, 8, 38068 Rovereto, Italy
6
Department of Engineering, Universita degli Studi Roma Tre, via della Vasca Navale 79, 00146 Roma, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 21 November 2017 / Revised: 17 December 2017 / Accepted: 27 December 2017 / Published: 30 December 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Locomotion at Small Scales: From Biology to Artificial Systems)
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Abstract

As many studies show, there is a relation between the tissue’s mechanical characteristics and some specific diseases. Knowing this relationship would help early diagnosis or microsurgery. In this paper, a new method for measuring the viscoelastic properties of soft materials at the microscale is proposed. This approach is based on the adoption of a microsystem whose mechanical structure can be reduced to a compliant four bar linkage where the connecting rod is substituted by the tissue sample. A procedure to identify both stiffness and damping coefficients of the tissue is then applied to the developed hardware. Particularly, stiffness is calculated solving the static equations of the mechanism in a desired configuration, while the damping coefficient is inferred from the dynamic equations, which are written under the hypothesis that the sample tissue is excited by a variable compression force characterized by a suitable wave form. The whole procedure is implemented by making use of a control system. View Full-Text
Keywords: MEMS; tweezers; control; viscous coefficient; soft tissue MEMS; tweezers; control; viscous coefficient; soft tissue
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MDPI and ACS Style

Di Giamberardino, P.; Bagolini, A.; Bellutti, P.; Rudas, I.J.; Verotti, M.; Botta, F.; Belfiore, N.P. New MEMS Tweezers for the Viscoelastic Characterization of Soft Materials at the Microscale. Micromachines 2018, 9, 15.

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