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Nat Commun. 2014;5:3124. doi: 10.1038/ncomms4124.

Untethered micro-robotic coding of three-dimensional material composition.

Author information

1
1] Bio-Acoustic MEMS in Medicine (BAMM) Laboratory, Division of Biomedical Engineering, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, USA [2].
2
1] Department of Mechanical Engineering, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15213, USA [2].
3
Bio-Acoustic MEMS in Medicine (BAMM) Laboratory, Division of Biomedical Engineering, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, USA.
4
Department of Mechanical Engineering, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15213, USA.
5
1] Bio-Acoustic MEMS in Medicine (BAMM) Laboratory, Division of Biomedical Engineering, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, USA [2] Harvard-MIT Health Sciences and Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139, USA.

Abstract

Complex functional materials with three-dimensional micro- or nano-scale dynamic compositional features are prevalent in nature. However, the generation of three-dimensional functional materials composed of both soft and rigid microstructures, each programmed by shape and composition, is still an unsolved challenge. Here we describe a method to code complex materials in three-dimensions with tunable structural, morphological and chemical features using an untethered magnetic micro-robot remotely controlled by magnetic fields. This strategy allows the micro-robot to be introduced to arbitrary microfluidic environments for remote two- and three-dimensional manipulation. We demonstrate the coding of soft hydrogels, rigid copper bars, polystyrene beads and silicon chiplets into three-dimensional heterogeneous structures. We also use coded microstructures for bottom-up tissue engineering by generating cell-encapsulating constructs.

PMID:
24469115
PMCID:
PMC3947548
DOI:
10.1038/ncomms4124
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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