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TP 7: Biocompatible, programmable materials for soft micro-robots

Principal Investigator: Karen Lienkamp


The combination of MEMS fabrication technologies with smart polymers has opened up the field of soft micro-robots. These are small soft matter-based entities that can move, fold or deform by external stimuli. In particular, soft-matter-based grippers can open and close, for example by magnetic actuation. The aim of this project is to fabricate biocompatible micro-grippers by 3D printing for biomedical applications. For this, a multicomponent material with a soft matter-based ferromagnetic core and a biocompatible polymer shell will be generated. A key issue in the material design is the modification of the various component interfaces, so that cohesive failure and delamination is avoided. After optimizing these modifications on model structures, different gripper geometries will be tested. The ultimate goal is to grip and release, or even grip, move and release single cells with such a micro-robot.


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