Electrothermal soft manipulator enabling safe transport and handling of thin cell/tissue sheets and bioelectronic devices

Byoung Soo Kim, Min Ku Kim, Younghak Cho, Eman E. Hamed, Martha U. Gillette, Hyeongyun Cha, Nenad Miljkovic, Vinay K. Aakalu, Kai Kang, Kyung-No Son, Kyle M. Schachtschneider, Lawrence B. Schook, Chenfei Hu, Gabriel Popescu, Yeonsoo Park, William C. Ballance, Seunggun Yu, Sung Gap Im, Jonghwi Lee, Chi Hwan LeeHyunjoon Kong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

textquotedblleftLivingtextquotedblright cell sheets or bioelectronic chips have great potentials to improve the quality of diagnostics and therapies. However, handling these thin and delicate materials remains a grand challenge because the external force applied for gripping and releasing can easily deform or damage the materials. This study presents a soft manipulator that can manipulate and transport cell/tissue sheets and ultrathin wearable biosensing devices seamlessly by recapitulating how a cephalopod’s suction cup works. The soft manipulator consists of an ultrafast thermo-responsive, microchanneled hydrogel layer with tissue-like softness and an electric heater layer. The electric current to the manipulator drives microchannels of the gel to shrink/expand and results in a pressure change through the microchannels. The manipulator can lift/detach an object within 10 s and can be used repeatedly over 50 times. This soft manipulator would be highly useful for safe and reliable assembly and implantation of therapeutic cell/tissue sheets and biosensing devices.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbereabc5630
JournalScience Advances
Volume6
Issue number42
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 16 2020

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