Micro-Manipulator for Operating Microparts and Cells

In recent years, various applications in the field of biotechnology such as artificial insemination, bio-devices and assembly of biological body have become more important research topics. In addition to average characteristics of cells and biological bodies as the aggregate, characteristics of each cell and each body need to be examined. In the examination, suitable micro-manipulators are needed for sorting of desired cells and biological bodies, their property inspection, gripping, processing, etc. For assembling various micro-size objects, it is also important to realize multi-use micro-manipulators that can operate cells and micro mechatronics devices.

The purpose of this research is to realize a micro-manipulator system with the following features;

  1. 1) It can operate various types of micro-size objects in air, liquid and confined space.
  2. 2) It is easy to replace the end-effectors of the grippers for multi-purpose use.

  3. 3) The micro-grippers are small enough to keep observing the motions of many driving grippers under a microscope.
  4. 4) The driving systems are isolated from the work space and free from the influence of the environment in the work space and wiring problems.

  5. 5) The grippers can provide sufficient force (> 1 mN)

Figure 2 shows a photograph of a prototype gripper with actuators including thermal sensitive material parts and permanent magnets. It can be driven using laser beam.


Fig.1. Works using micro-manipulator systems Fig.2. Prototype gripper