Achieving Automated Organelle Biopsy on Small Single Cells Using a Cell Surgery Robotic System

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2210-2222
Journal / PublicationIEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering
Issue number8
Online published10 Dec 2018
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2019


Single cell surgery such as manipulation or removal of subcellular components or/and organelles from single cells is increasingly used for the study of diseases and their causes in precision medicine. This paper presents a robotic surgery system to achieve automated organelle biopsy of single cells with dimensions of less than 20 μm in diameter. The complexity of spatial detection of the organelle position is reduced by patterning the cells using a microfluidic chip device. A sliding mode nonlinear controller is developed to enable extraction of organelles, such as the mitochondria and the nucleus, from single cells with high precision. An image processing algorithm is also developed to automatically detect the position of the desired organelle. The effectiveness of the proposed robotic surgery system is demonstrated experimentally with automated extraction of mitochondria and nucleus from human acute promyelocytic leukemia cells and human fibroblast cells. Extraction is followed by biological tests to indicate the functionality of biopsied mitochondria as well as the cell viability after removal of mitochondria. The results presented here have revealed that the proposed approach of automated organelle biopsy on single small cells is feasible.

Research Area(s)

  • mitochondria, organelle biopsy, robotic surgery, single cell manipulation

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