Automated Transportation of Biological Cells for Multiple Processing Steps in Cell Surgery

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Article number7982797
Pages (from-to)1712-1721
Journal / PublicationIEEE Transactions on Automation Science and Engineering
Issue number4
Online published17 Jul 2017
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2017


Most studies on automated cell transportation are single-task oriented. Results from these investigations hardly meet the increasing demand for emerging cell surgery operations that usually require a series of manipulation tasks with multiple processing steps. In this paper, automated cell transportation to accomplish a multistep process in cell surgery was investigated. A novel control system that can manipulate grouped cells to move into different task regions sequentially and continuously without interruption was developed based on a robot-aided optical tweezers manipulation system. A potential field-based controller was designed to achieve multistep processing control, where the new concepts of contractive coalition and switching region were incorporated into tweezers-cell coalition. The success of this controller lies in simultaneously controlling the positions of the optical tweezers, trapping multiple cells effectively, and avoiding collisions in a unified manner. Simulations and experiments of transferring a group of cells to a number of task regions were performed to demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed approach.

Research Area(s)

  • Cell surgery, cell transportation, multistep processing, optical tweezers