Infoscience

Journal article

Modeling, Control, and Experimental Characterization of Microbiorobots

In this paper, we describe how motile microorganisms can be integrated with engineered microstructures to develop a micro-bio-robotic system. SU-8 microstructures blotted with swarmer cells of Serratia Marcescens in a monolayer are propelled by the bacteria in the absence of any environmental stimulus. We call such microstructures with bacteria MicroBioRobots (MBRs) and the uncontrolled motion in the absence of stimuli self actuation. Our paper has two primary contributions. First, we demonstrate the control of MBRs using self actuation and DC electric fields, and develop an experimentally validated mathematical model for the MBRs. This model allows us to use self actuation and electrokinetic actuation to steer the MBR to any position and orientation in a planar micro channel. Second, we combine our experimental setup and a feedback control algorithm to steer robots with micrometer accuracy in two spatial dimensions. We describe the fabrication process for MBRs and show experimental results demonstrating actuation and control.

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