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Biomed Microdevices. 2009 Apr;11(2):421-7. doi: 10.1007/s10544-008-9248-6.

Elastic and viscoelastic characterization of microcapsules for drug delivery using a force-feedback MEMS microgripper.

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Advanced Micro and Nanosystems Laboratory, University of Toronto, 5 King's College Road, Toronto, Ontario M5S3G8, Canada.


This paper reports a monolithic, force-feedback MEMS (microelectomechanical systems) microgripper and its application to micro-scale compression testing of swollen hydrogel microcapsules at wet state during manipulation. The single-chip microgripper integrates an electrothermal microactuator and two capacitive force sensors, one for contact detection (force resolution: 38.5 nN) and the other for gripping force measurements (force resolution: 19.9 nN). With the capability of resolving gripping forces down to 19.9 nN and material deformations with a 20.5 nm resolution, the system quantified Young's modulus values and viscoelastic parameters of alginate microcapsules (15-25 microm), demonstrating an easy-to-operate, accurate compression testing technique for characterizing soft, micrometer-sized biomaterials.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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