Microrobotics for Biological, Biomedical, and Surgical Applications

A special issue of Micromachines (ISSN 2072-666X). This special issue belongs to the section "B:Biology and Biomedicine".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (1 May 2020) | Viewed by 20154

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Department of Engineering, Roma Tre University, 00146 Rome, Italy
Interests: functional design; MEMS/NEMS; dynamic simulation of multi-body systems; robotics; topology; tribology
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Guest Editor
Department of General Surgery and Surgical Specialities “Paride Stefanini”, Sapienza University of Rome, viale del Policlinico 155, 00161 Rome, Italy
Interests: multimodal and multidisciplinary rectal cancer treatment; with specific reference to mini invasive surgical treatment; adrenal gland bariatric mini invasive surgery; gastric surgery
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

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Guest Editor
Department of Mechanical, Energy, Management and Transportation Engineering, University of Genova, Via all'Opera Pia, 15 - 16145 Genoa, Italy
Interests: MEMS/NEMS; compliant mechanisms; smart materials; functional design; robotics
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

In the last few decades, many research efforts have been focused on the development of miniaturized systems in order to understand the complex physical and chemical phenomena governing life at a microscale. In fact, once heterogeneity in cell populations has been ascertained, investigations on single cells became a fundamental step to understand cell behaviours and to develop appropriate physical and chemical models. At the same time, medicine started moving towards minimally invasive procedures, and further advances are expected in the endoluminal field, such as the development of novel tools that are able to perform surgical, diagnostic, and drug delivery operations.

The development of these miniaturized systems is extremely challenging. In fact, biomaterials are composed of deformable matter, and their manipulation, as well as the determination of their mechanical properties, remain open subects. On the other hand, microsystems for in-vivo operations must be biocompatible and reliable. In this Special Issue, we focus on the development of microsystems and novel techniques addressing these challenges. More specifically, topics of interest include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Synthesis, analysis, simulation, and development of micro-positioning and micro-manipulation systems for biological, biomedical, and surgical applications;
  • Synthesis, analysis, simulation, and development of microsystems for endoluminal operations;
  • Microsystems for precision drug delivery;
  • Magnetically driven microrobotics;
  • Bio-hybrid microrobotics;
  • Novel techniques for the mechanical characterization of biomaterials;
  • Fabrication techniques;
  • MEMS/NEMS technology-based robots;
  • Dmart materials;
  • Biocompatibility and biodegradation;
  • Control methods;
  • Sensing and actuation strategies.

Prof. Nicola Pio Belfiore
Prof. Dr. Pietro Ursi
Prof. Matteo Verotti
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • Microrobotics
  • Microsystems
  • Minimally Invasive Surgery
  • Endoluminal Surgery
  • Precision Drug Delivery
  • Microstage
  • Micromanipulation
  • NEMS/MEMS
  • Dmart Materials
  • Biocompatibility

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

16 pages, 5414 KiB  
Article
High-Speed Manipulation of Microobjects Using an Automated Two-Fingered Microhand for 3D Microassembly
by Eunhye Kim, Masaru Kojima, Yasushi Mae and Tatsuo Arai
Micromachines 2020, 11(5), 534; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi11050534 - 24 May 2020
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 3379
Abstract
To assemble microobjects including biological cells quickly and precisely, a fully automated pick-and-place operation is applied. In micromanipulation in liquid, the challenges include strong adhesion forces and high dynamic viscosity. To solve these problems, a reliable manipulation system and special releasing techniques are [...] Read more.
To assemble microobjects including biological cells quickly and precisely, a fully automated pick-and-place operation is applied. In micromanipulation in liquid, the challenges include strong adhesion forces and high dynamic viscosity. To solve these problems, a reliable manipulation system and special releasing techniques are indispensable. A microhand having dexterous motion is utilized to grasp an object stably, and an automated stage transports the object quickly. To detach the object adhered to one of the end effectors, two releasing methods—local stream and a dynamic releasing—are utilized. A system using vision-based techniques for the recognition of two fingertips and an object, as well automated releasing methods, can increase the manipulation speed to faster than 800 ms/sphere with a 100% success rate (N = 100). To extend this manipulation technique, 2D and 3D assembly that manipulates several objects is attained by compensating the positional error. Finally, we succeed in assembling 80–120 µm of microbeads and spheroids integrated by NIH3T3 cells. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microrobotics for Biological, Biomedical, and Surgical Applications)
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22 pages, 4902 KiB  
Article
Motion and Trajectory Constraints Control Modeling for Flexible Surgical Robotic Systems
by Olatunji Mumini Omisore, Shipeng Han, Yousef Al-Handarish, Wenjing Du, Wenke Duan, Toluwanimi Oluwadara Akinyemi and Lei Wang
Micromachines 2020, 11(4), 386; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi11040386 - 7 Apr 2020
Cited by 15 | Viewed by 4983
Abstract
Success of the da Vinci surgical robot in the last decade has motivated the development of flexible access robots to assist clinical experts during single-port interventions of core intrabody organs. Prototypes of flexible robots have been proposed to enhance surgical tasks, such as [...] Read more.
Success of the da Vinci surgical robot in the last decade has motivated the development of flexible access robots to assist clinical experts during single-port interventions of core intrabody organs. Prototypes of flexible robots have been proposed to enhance surgical tasks, such as suturing, tumor resection, and radiosurgery in human abdominal areas; nonetheless, precise constraint control models are still needed for flexible pathway navigation. In this paper, the design of a flexible snake-like robot is presented, along with the constraints model that was proposed for kinematics and dynamics control, motion trajectory planning, and obstacle avoidance during motion. Simulation of the robot and implementation of the proposed control models were done in Matlab. Several points on different circular paths were used for evaluation, and the results obtained show the model had a mean kinematic error of 0.37 ± 0.36 mm with very fast kinematics and dynamics resolution times. Furthermore, the robot’s movement was geometrically and parametrically continuous for three different trajectory cases on a circular pathway. In addition, procedures for dynamic constraint and obstacle collision detection were also proposed and validated. In the latter, a collision-avoidance scheme was kept optimal by keeping a safe distance between the robot’s links and obstacles in the workspace. Analyses of the results showed the control system was optimal in determining the necessary joint angles to reach a given target point, and motion profiles with a smooth trajectory was guaranteed, while collision with obstacles were detected a priori and avoided in close to real-time. Furthermore, the complexity and computational effort of the algorithmic models were negligibly small. Thus, the model can be used to enhance the real-time control of flexible robotic systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microrobotics for Biological, Biomedical, and Surgical Applications)
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16 pages, 7765 KiB  
Article
A Robotic Biopsy Endoscope with Magnetic 5-DOF Locomotion and a Retractable Biopsy Punch
by Manh Cuong Hoang, Viet Ha Le, Kim Tien Nguyen, Van Du Nguyen, Jayoung Kim, Eunpyo Choi, Seungmin Bang, Byungjeon Kang, Jong-Oh Park and Chang-Sei Kim
Micromachines 2020, 11(1), 98; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi11010098 - 17 Jan 2020
Cited by 33 | Viewed by 5851
Abstract
Capsule endoscopes (CEs) have emerged as an advanced diagnostic technology for gastrointestinal diseases in recent decades. However, with regard to robotic motions, they require active movability and multi-functionalities for extensive, untethered, and precise clinical utilization. Herein, we present a novel wireless biopsy CE [...] Read more.
Capsule endoscopes (CEs) have emerged as an advanced diagnostic technology for gastrointestinal diseases in recent decades. However, with regard to robotic motions, they require active movability and multi-functionalities for extensive, untethered, and precise clinical utilization. Herein, we present a novel wireless biopsy CE employing active five degree-of-freedom locomotion and a biopsy needle punching mechanism for the histological analysis of the intestinal tract. A medical biopsy punch is attached to a screw mechanism, which can be magnetically actuated to extrude and retract the biopsy tool, for tissue extraction. The external magnetic field from an electromagnetic actuation (EMA) system is utilized to actuate the screw mechanism and harvest biopsy tissue; therefore, the proposed system consumes no onboard energy of the CE. This design enables observation of the biopsy process through the capsule’s camera. A prototype with a diameter of 12 mm and length of 30 mm was fabricated with a medical biopsy punch having a diameter of 1.5 mm. Its performance was verified through numerical analysis, as well as in-vitro and ex-vivo experiments on porcine intestine. The CE could be moved to target lesions and obtain sufficient tissue samples for histological examination. The proposed biopsy CE mechanism utilizing punch biopsy and its wireless extraction–retraction technique can advance untethered intestinal endoscopic capsule technology at clinical sites. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microrobotics for Biological, Biomedical, and Surgical Applications)
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15 pages, 6337 KiB  
Article
Grasping and Releasing Agarose micro Beads in Water Drops
by Federica Vurchio, Pietro Ursi, Alessio Buzzin, Andrea Veroli, Andrea Scorza, Matteo Verotti, Salvatore Andrea Sciuto and Nicola Pio Belfiore
Micromachines 2019, 10(7), 436; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi10070436 - 30 Jun 2019
Cited by 19 | Viewed by 2624
Abstract
The micromanipulation of micro objects is nowadays the focus of several investigations, specially in biomedical applications. Therefore, some manipulation tasks are required to be in aqueous environment and become more challenging because they depend upon observation and actuation methods that are compatible with [...] Read more.
The micromanipulation of micro objects is nowadays the focus of several investigations, specially in biomedical applications. Therefore, some manipulation tasks are required to be in aqueous environment and become more challenging because they depend upon observation and actuation methods that are compatible with MEMS Technology based micromanipulators. This paper describes how three grasping-releasing based tasks have been successfully applied to agarose micro beads whose average size is about 60 μ m: (i) the extraction of a single micro bead from a water drop; (ii) the insertion of a single micro bead into the drop; (iii) the grasping of a single micro bead inside the drop. The success of the performed tasks rely on the use of a microgripper previously designed, fabricated, and tested. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microrobotics for Biological, Biomedical, and Surgical Applications)
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17 pages, 16345 KiB  
Article
Design and Validation of a Single-SOI-Wafer 4-DOF Crawling Microgripper
by Matteo Verotti, Alvise Bagolini, Pierluigi Bellutti and Nicola Pio Belfiore
Micromachines 2019, 10(6), 376; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi10060376 - 5 Jun 2019
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2568
Abstract
This paper deals with the manipulation of micro-objects operated by a new concept multi-hinge multi-DoF (degree of freedom) microsystem. The system is composed of a planar 3-DoF microstage and of a set of one-DoF microgrippers, and it is arranged is such a way [...] Read more.
This paper deals with the manipulation of micro-objects operated by a new concept multi-hinge multi-DoF (degree of freedom) microsystem. The system is composed of a planar 3-DoF microstage and of a set of one-DoF microgrippers, and it is arranged is such a way as to allow any microgripper to crawl over the stage. As a result, the optimal configuration to grasp the micro-object can be reached. Classical algorithms of kinematic analysis have been used to study the rigid-body model of the mobile platform. Then, the rigid-body replacement method has been implemented to design the corresponding compliant mechanism, whose geometry can be transferred onto the etch mask. Deep-reactive ion etching (DRIE) is suggested to fabricate the whole system. The main contributions of this investigation consist of (i) the achievement of a relative motion between the supporting platform and the microgrippers, and of (ii) the design of a process flow for the simultaneous fabrication of the stage and the microgrippers, starting from a single silicon-on-insulator (SOI) wafer. Functionality is validated via theoretical simulation and finite element analysis, whereas fabrication feasibility is granted by preliminary tests performed on some parts of the microsystem. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microrobotics for Biological, Biomedical, and Surgical Applications)
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