Development of cell-carrying magnetic microrobots with bioactive nanostructured titanate surface for enhanced cell adhesion

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

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Original languageEnglish
Article number1572
Journal / PublicationMicromachines
Issue number12
Online published17 Dec 2021
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021



Cell-carrying magnet-driven microrobots are easily affected by blood flow or body fluids during transportation in the body, and thus cells often fall off from the microrobots. To reduce the loss of loaded cells, we developed a microrobot with a bioactive nanostructured titanate surface (NTS), which enhances cell adhesion. The microrobot was fabricated using 3D laser lithography and coated with nickel for magnetic actuation. Then, the microrobot was coated with titanium for the external generation of an NTS through reactions in NaOH solution. Enhanced cell adhesion may be attributed to the changes in the surface wettability of the microrobot and in the morphology of the loaded cells. An experiment was performed on a microfluidic chip for the simulation of blood flow environment, and result revealed that the cells adhered closely to the microrobot with NTS and were not obviously affected by flow. The cell viability and protein absorption test and alkaline phosphatase activity assay indicated that NTS can provide a regulatory means for improving cell proliferation and early osteogenic differentiation. This research provided a novel microrobotic platform that can positively influence the behaviour of cells loaded on microrobots through surface nanotopography, thereby opening up a new route for microrobot cell delivery.

Research Area(s)

  • Cell carrying, Enhanced cell adhesion, Magnetic microrobots, Nanostructured titanate surface

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