Development of a Magnetic-driven Robotic Control System for the Precise Delivery of Cell-cultured Microrobots In Vivo

Project: Research

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Magnetically actuated microrobots exhibit immense potential for many applications inthe field of precision medicine, such as the delivery of targeted cells, microtissues, ordrugs. Effective delivery of targeted materials for critical illnesses is still a majortechnical hurdle that has yet to be overcome. Several challenging problems that severelyrestrict the clinical applications of this novel technique include ensuring a largeworkspace with quantitatively controlled magnetic field density and gradient, designingmicrorobot structures that can successfully transport functional cells or targeted drugsto the disease site, and automatically controlling the precise position and orientation ofmicrorobots in a 3D environment. This study aims to explore these challenging problems.We will develop a magnetically actuated microrobotic control system and hypothesizethat such advancement will enable cell-cultured microrobots to navigate through bodyfluids (e.g., cerebrospinal fluid and blood or retinal vessels) and transport cells,microtissues, or drugs to target regions inside the body. Investigations will be conductedfrom four perspectives. First, the spatial distribution of the magnetic field will bemodeled and identified through a laboratory-designed electromagnetic manipulationplatform. The model will facilitate the quantitative characterization of the magneticactuation field over the entire magnetic field, thereby enabling the magnetic agents tobe operated in a substantially large workspace. Second, magnetic microrobot carriers willbe designed and fabricated using a 3D laser writing tool (Nanoscribe), which will allowfunctional cells to be cultured and then readily delivered to the specified location fortissue fusion and vascularization. Third, a robust control approach will be designed toovercome environmental disturbances in the magnetic field and fluid flow, and modeluncertainty, as well as achieve the precise position and orientation control of themicrorobots in a 3D environment. Finally, a pre-clinical study utilizing the developedsystem and technologies will be conducted to deliver specialized cells in an animal bodyand explore their functional role in liver cancer.The success of this study will substantially advance the application of magneticmicrorobotics in the field of precision medicine. This study will also facilitate thedevelopment of new technologies to enable automated cell surgery for variousunforeseen applications that were thought to be impossible.


Project number9042359
Grant typeGRF
Effective start/end date1/01/1715/05/20

    Research areas

  • Robotics , Magnetic actuation , Robot Control , Cell manipulation , Microtechnology