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  1. Nanomaterials have unique properties, functionalities, and excellent performance, and as a result have gained significant interest across disciplines and industries. However, currently, there is a lack of techniques that can assemble as-synthesized nanomaterials in a scalable manner. Electrophoretic deposition (EPD) is a promising method for the scalable assembly of colloidally stable nanomaterials into thick films and arrays. In EPD, an electric field is used to assemble charged colloidal particles onto an oppositely charged substrate. However, in constant voltage EPD the deposition rate decreases with increasing deposition time, which has been attributed in part to the fact that the electric field in the suspension decreases with time. This decreasing electric field has been attributed to two probable causes, (i) increased resistance of the particle film and/or (ii) the growth of an ion-depletion region at the substrate. Here, to increase EPD yield and scalability we sought to distinguish between these two effects and found that the growth of the ion-depletion region plays the most significant role in the increase of the deposit resistance. Here, we also demonstrate a method to maintain constant deposit resistance in EPD by periodic replenishing of suspension, thereby improving EPD’s scalability. 
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  2. Stiffness and forces are two fundamental quantities essential to living cells and tissues. However, it has been a challenge to quantify both 3D traction forces and stiffness (or modulus) using the same probe in vivo. Here, we describe an approach that overcomes this challenge by creating a magnetic microrobot probe with controllable functionality. Biocompatible ferromagnetic cobalt-platinum microcrosses were fabricated, and each microcross (about 30 micrometers) was trapped inside an arginine–glycine–aspartic acid–conjugated stiff poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) round microgel (about 50 micrometers) using a microfluidic device. The stiff magnetic microrobot was seeded inside a cell colony and acted as a stiffness probe by rigidly rotating in response to an oscillatory magnetic field. Then, brief episodes of ultraviolet light exposure were applied to dynamically photodegrade and soften the fluorescent nanoparticle–embedded PEG microgel, whose deformation and 3D traction forces were quantified. Using the microrobot probe, we show that malignant tumor–repopulating cell colonies altered their modulus but not traction forces in response to different 3D substrate elasticities. Stiffness and 3D traction forces were measured, and both normal and shear traction force oscillations were observed in zebrafish embryos from blastula to gastrula. Mouse embryos generated larger tensile and compressive traction force oscillations than shear traction force oscillations during blastocyst. The microrobot probe with controllable functionality via magnetic fields could potentially be useful for studying the mechanoregulation of cells, tissues, and embryos.

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    We report the design, fabrication, and characterization of a prototype that meets the form, fit, and function of a household 1.5 V AA battery, but which can be wirelessly recharged without removal from the host device. The prototype system comprises a low-frequency electrodynamic wireless power transmission (EWPT) receiver, a lithium polymer energy storage cell, and a power management circuit (PMC), all contained within a 3D-printed package. The EWPT receiver and overall system are experimentally characterized using a 238 Hz sinusoidal magnetic charging field and either a 1000 µF electrolytic capacitor or a lithium polymer (LiPo) cell as the storage cell. The system demonstrates a minimal operating field as low as 50 µTrms (similar in magnitude to Earth’s magnetic field). At this minimum charging field, the prototype transfers a maximum dc current of 50 µA to the capacitor, corresponding to a power delivery of 118 µW. The power effectiveness of the power management system is approximately 49%; with power effectiveness defined as the ratio between actual output power and the maximum possible power the EWPT receiver can transfer to a pure resistive load at a given field strength. 
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    We report the design, fabrication, and experimental characterization of a chip-sized electromechanical micro-receiver for low-frequency, near-field wireless power transmission that employs both electrodynamic and piezoelectric transductions to achieve a high power density and high output voltage while maintaining a low profile. The 0.09 cm 3 device comprises a laser-micro-machined titanium suspension, one NdFeB magnet, two PZT-5A piezo-ceramic patches, and a precision-manufactured micro-coil with a thickness of only 1.65 mm. The device generates 520 μW average power (5.5 mW•cm -3 ) at 4 cm distance from a transmitter coil operating at 734.6 Hz and within safe human exposure limits. Compared to a previously reported piezoelectric-only prototype, this device generates ~2.5x higher power and offers 18% increased normalized power density (6.5 mW•cm -3 •mT -2 ) for potential improvement in wirelessly charging wearables and bio-implants. 
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  6. null (Ed.)
    This paper presents the design, fabrication and experimental characterization of a chip-sized wireless power receiver for low-frequency electrodynamic wireless power transmission (EWPT). Utilizing a laser micro-machined meandering suspension, one NdFeB magnet, and two PZT-SA piezoelectric patches, this 0.08 cm 3 micro-receiver operates at its torsion mode mechanical resonance of 724 Hz. The device generates 360 μW average power (4.2 mWcm -3 power density) at 1 cm distance from a transmitter coil operating at 724 Hz and safely within allowable human exposure limits of 2 mTrms field. Compared to a previously reported macro-scale prototype, this volume-efficient micro-receiver is 31x smaller and offers 3.2x higher power density within a low-profile, compact footprint for wirelessly charging wearable and bio-implantable devices. 
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  8. The long-term aim of this work is to develop a biosensing system that rapidly detects bacterial targets of interest, such as Escherichia coli, in drinking and recreational water quality monitoring. For these applications, a standard sample size is 100 mL, which is quite large for magnetic separation microfluidic analysis platforms that typically function with <20 µL/s throughput. Here, we report the use of 1.5-µm-diameter magnetic microdisc to selectively tag target bacteria, and a high-throughput microfluidic device that can potentially isolate the magnetically tagged bacteria from 100 mL water samples in less than 15 min. Simulations and experiments show ~90% capture efficiencies of magnetic particles at flow rates up to 120 µL/s. Also, the platform enables the magnetic microdiscs/bacteria conjugates to be directly imaged, providing a path for quantitative assay. 
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