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  4. In the last decade, 3D printing has attracted significant attention and has resulted in benefits to many research areas. Advances in 3D printing with smart materials at the microscale, such as hydrogels and liquid crystalline polymers, have enabled 4D printing and various applications in microrobots, micro-actuators, and tissue engineering. However, the material absorption of the laser power and the aberrations of the laser light spot will introduce a decay in the polymerization degree along the height direction, and the solution to this problem has not been reported yet. In this paper, a compensation strategy for the laser power is proposed to achieve homogeneous and high aspect ratio hydrogel structures at the microscale along the out-of-plane direction. Linear approximations for the power decay curve are adopted for height steps, discretizing the final high aspect ratio structures. The strategy is achieved experimentally with hydrogel structures fabricated by two-photon polymerization. Moreover, characterizations have been conducted to verify the homogeneity of the printed microstructures. Finally, the saturation of material property is investigated by an indirect 3D deformation method. The proposed strategy is proved to be effective and can be explored for other hydrogel materials showing significant deformation. Furthermore, the strategy for out-of-plane variations provides a critical technique to achieve 4D-printed homogeneous shape-adaptive hydrogels for further applications. 
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  5. In this modern world, with the increase of complexity of many technologies, especially in the micro and nanoscale, the field of robotic manipulation has tremendously grown. Microrobots and other complex microscale systems are often to laborious to fabricate using standard microfabrication techniques, therefore there is a trend towards fabricating them in parts then assembling them together, mainly using micromanipulation tools. Here, a comprehensive and robust micromanipulation platform is presented, in which four micromanipulators can be used simultaneously to perform complex tasks, providing the user with an intuitive environment. The system utilizes a vision-based force sensor to aid with manipulation tasks and it provides a safe environment for biomanipulation. Lastly, virtual reality (VR) was incorporated into the system, allowing the user to control the probes from a more intuitive standpoint and providing an immersive platform for the future of micromanipulation. 
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  6. This paper presents the use of a micro-force sensing mobile microrobot (μFSMM) for in vitro biomedical applications. The μFSMM utilizes a vision-based force sensor end-effector, which computes the force based on the deflection of a compliant structure with a known stiffness using a computer vision tracking algorithm. The μFSMM is used to characterize the stiffness of several different alginate and hyaluronic acid hydrogel spheroid samples, which are typically used in 3D tissue engineered constructs for studying cellular behavior. Additionally, μFSMM is used to perform safe micromanipulation tasks with these spheroids. These experimental results showcase some of the applications of this unique microrobot design in the fields of mechanobiology, theranostics, and force-guided micromanipulation. 
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  7. null (Ed.)
    Small soft robotic systems are being explored for myriad applications in medicine. Specifically, magnetically actuated microrobots capable of remote manipulation hold significant potential for the targeted delivery of therapeutics and biologicals. Much of previous efforts on microrobotics have been dedicated to locomotion in aqueous environments and hard surfaces. However, our human bodies are made of dense biological tissues, requiring researchers to develop new microrobotics that can locomote atop tissue surfaces. Tumbling microrobots are a sub-category of these devices capable of walking on surfaces guided by rotating magnetic fields. Using microrobots to deliver payloads to specific regions of sensitive tissues is a primary goal of medical microrobots. Central nervous system (CNS) tissues are a prime candidate given their delicate structure and highly region-specific function. Here we demonstrate surface walking of soft alginate capsules capable of moving on top of a rat cortex and mouse spinal cord ex vivo , demonstrating multi-location small molecule delivery to up to six different locations on each type of tissue with high spatial specificity. The softness of alginate gel prevents injuries that may arise from friction with CNS tissues during millirobot locomotion. Development of this technology may be useful in clinical and preclinical applications such as drug delivery, neural stimulation, and diagnostic imaging. 
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