Bc. Viktorie Černochová (VŠCHT): Micro-scale object positioning by electromagnetic actuation system based on LabVIEW

Tue, 05/31/2016

A graduate student from the University of Chemistry and Technology (VŠCHT) who is conducting research in "chemical robotics lab" of prof. František Štěpánek in the domain of electromagnetic micromanipulation is going to share with us the results of her final thesis. The seminar will start at 14:00 am at K14 seminar room.

Medical microrobotics and possible application areas, such as targeted drug delivery or minimally invasive surgery, have attracted attention of many research groups in past decade and the field is developing rapidly. However, there are still many issues to overcome when miniaturization takes place, such as the limitation of generation and storage of the energy resources for the microrobot transportation. Wirelessly transmitted power to the device by a low-frequency magnetic field seems to be a promising method. Since there are no significant interactions of the magnetic field with the human body, such powered robots could therefore be used for in vivo applications. The magnetic field can also be used for navigation of magnetic microrobot through a complex 3D capillary network.

In this research, a fully functioning electromagnetic actuation (EMA) system for the manipulation of micro-droplets with two degrees of freedom on a water-air interface is proposed and fabricated. The system consists of a custom-made experimental setup using a set of four air-cored solenoids and a self-developed control algorithm using LabVIEW software. For the manipulation, magnetic micro-droplets formed from kerosene (stabilized by TWEEN 65) containing iron-oxide nanoparticles (size of 10 nm), were synthetized. The EMA system proved to be a robust solution for the navigation of droplets of variable size (diameter 100 μm - 1 mm). The system enables the user to freely switch between locomotion tasks (user-defined target position, user-defined trajectory or gamepad control) and so provides a wide range of potential future applications. The setup is further being tested as a measuring device of an attractive force observed in non-biological positive chemotactical movements based on Marangoni effect (system of a decanol droplet in gradient of NaCl in a sodium decanoate solution).