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Conference Paper

3D-printed soft microrobot for swimming in biological fluids


Fischer,  Peer       
Max Planck Institute for Medical Research, Max Planck Society;

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Qiu, T., Palagi, S., & Fischer, P. (2015). 3D-printed soft microrobot for swimming in biological fluids. In Annual international conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society (pp. 4922-4925). Piscataway, NJ, USA: IEEE.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-000B-0C63-9
Microscopic artificial swimmers hold the potential to enable novel non-invasive medical procedures. In order to ease their translation towards real biomedical applications, simpler designs as well as cheaper yet more reliable materials and fabrication processes should be adopted, provided that the functionality of the microrobots can be kept. A simple single-hinge design could already enable micro-swimming in non-Newtonian fluids, which most bodily fluids are. Here, we address the fabrication of such single-hinge microrobots with a 3D-printed soft material. Firstly, a finite element model is developed to investigate the deformability of the 3D-printed microstructure under typical values of the actuating magnetic fields. Then the microstructures are fabricated by direct 3D-printing of a soft material and their swimming performances are evaluated. The speeds achieved with the 3D-printed microrobots are comparable to those obtained in previous work with complex fabrication procedures, thus showing great promise for 3D-printed microrobots to be operated in biological fluids.