Automated transportation of single cells using robot-tweezer manipulation system

Songyu Hu, Dong Sun
Journal of Laboratory Automation 2011, 16 (4): 263-70
Manipulation of biological cells becomes increasingly important in biomedical engineering to address challenge issues in cell-cell interaction, drug discovery, and tissue engineering. Significant demand for both accuracy and productivity in cell manipulation highlights the need for automated cell transportation with integrated robotics and micro/nano manipulation technologies. Optical tweezers, which use highly focused low-power laser beams to trap and manipulate particles at micro/nanoscale, have emerged as an essential tool for manipulating single cells. In this article, we propose to use a robot-tweezer manipulation system to solve the problem of automatic transportation of biological cells, where optical tweezers function as special robot end effectors. Dynamics equation of the cell in optical tweezers is analyzed. A closed-loop controller is designed for transporting and positioning cells. Experiments are performed on live cells to demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed approach in effective cell positioning.

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