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Actuators 2018, 7(2), 12; https://doi.org/10.3390/act7020012

Innovative Silicon Microgrippers for Biomedical Applications: Design, Mechanical Simulation and Evaluation of Protein Fouling

1
Laboratory of Biomarker Studies and Structure Analysis for Health, Fondazione Bruno Kessler, Trento I-38123, Italy
2
CNR- Institute of Biophysics, Unit at Trento, Trento I-38123, Italy
3
Micro Nano Fabrication and Characterization Facility, Fondazione Bruno Kessler, Trento I-38123, Italy
4
Department of Industrial Engineering, University of Trento, Trento 38123, Italy
5
Mechatronics Prototyping Facility, Trentino Sviluppo S.p.A., Rovereto 38068, Italy
6
Department of Engineering, Università degli Studi di Roma Tre, via della Vasca Navale 79, Roma 00146, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 8 March 2018 / Revised: 20 March 2018 / Accepted: 21 March 2018 / Published: 24 March 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Micromanipulation)
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Abstract

The demand of miniaturized, accurate and robust micro-tools for minimally invasive surgery or in general for micro-manipulation, has grown tremendously in recent years. To meet this need, a new-concept comb-driven microgripper was designed and fabricated. Two microgripper prototypes differing for both the number of links and the number of conjugate surface flexure hinges are presented. Their design takes advantage of an innovative concept based on the pseudo-rigid body model, while the study of microgripper mechanical potentialities in different configurations is supported by finite elements’ simulations. These microgrippers, realized by the deep reactive-ion etching technology, are intended as micro-tools for tissue or cell manipulation and for minimally invasive surgery; therefore, their biocompatibility in terms of protein fouling was assessed. Serum albumin dissolved in phosphate buffer was selected to mimic the physiological environment and its adsorption on microgrippers was measured. The presented microgrippers demonstrated having great potential as biomedical tools, showing a modest propensity to adsorb proteins, independently from the protein concentration and time of incubation. View Full-Text
Keywords: microgripper; biocompatibility; mini-invasive surgery; protein fouling; cell manipulation microgripper; biocompatibility; mini-invasive surgery; protein fouling; cell manipulation
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).
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Potrich, C.; Lunelli, L.; Bagolini, A.; Bellutti, P.; Pederzolli, C.; Verotti, M.; Belfiore, N.P. Innovative Silicon Microgrippers for Biomedical Applications: Design, Mechanical Simulation and Evaluation of Protein Fouling. Actuators 2018, 7, 12.

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