Cell-Grasping Compliant Mechanisms with Real-Time Haptic Feedback
We present a technique that enables both grasping and injecting a biological cell with real-time haptic force feedback by using miniature compliant mechanisms. The compliant mechanisms serve the dual purpose of grasping and force-sensing. The setup developed comprises an inverted microscope, two XYZ stages for micro-positioning, two usage-specific polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) tools, a haptic robot, and a camera for image capture. Soft PDMS grippers help in holding the cells gently without excessive force because their stiffness can be matched with that of the cells. The setup allows the transfer of user-induced motion from the stylus of the haptic device (master) to the miniature grasper/injector (slave) and, in reverse, the force senses at the grasper is returned to the user with suitable de-amplification and amplification, respectively. It is demonstrated that a single haptic device can be used to grasp and inject by switching between two modes by toggling a button on the stylus of the device. The haptic cell-manipulation system was tested by grasping and injecting a zebrafish egg cell.
KeywordsCompliant mechanisms Cell-manipulation Remote-haptics Miniature gripper Intracytoplasmic injection
The authors would like to thank V. Mallikarjuna Rao for the initial set up, G. Ramu, B. M. Vinod Kumar and A. Ravi Kumar for their help in fabrication, Sajeesh and Suma for their help in procuring the egg cells. This work is supported in part by the Swarnajayanthi fellowship of the Department of Science and Technology (DST), Government of India, to the second author as well as the Math Biology grant from DST (No. SR/S4/MS: 419/07).
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