Biomedical Microdevices

, 11:421 | Cite as

Elastic and viscoelastic characterization of microcapsules for drug delivery using a force-feedback MEMS microgripper

  • Keekyoung Kim
  • Xinyu Liu
  • Yong Zhang
  • Ji Cheng
  • Xiao Yu Wu
  • Yu SunEmail author


This paper reports a monolithic, force-feedback MEMS (microelectomechanical systems) microgripper and its application to micro-scale compression testing of swollen hydrogel microcapsules at wet state during manipulation. The single-chip microgripper integrates an electrothermal microactuator and two capacitive force sensors, one for contact detection (force resolution: 38.5 nN) and the other for gripping force measurements (force resolution: 19.9 nN). With the capability of resolving gripping forces down to 19.9 nN and material deformations with a 20.5 nm resolution, the system quantified Young’s modulus values and viscoelastic parameters of alginate microcapsules (15–25 μm), demonstrating an easy-to-operate, accurate compression testing technique for characterizing soft, micrometer-sized biomaterials.


MEMS microgripper Micro-scale compression testing Hydrogel microcapsule Young’s modulus Viscoelastic parameters 



This work was supported by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada and by the Ontario Ministry of Research and Innovation.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Keekyoung Kim
    • 1
  • Xinyu Liu
    • 1
  • Yong Zhang
    • 1
  • Ji Cheng
    • 2
  • Xiao Yu Wu
    • 2
  • Yu Sun
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Advanced Micro and Nanosystems LaboratoryUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada
  2. 2.Leslie Dan Faculty of PharmacyUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada

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