Harnessing microorganisms for smart microsystems

phys.org | 4/11/2019 | Staff
kshama-s (Posted by) Level 3
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Integration of a structure with Vorticella (Upper, A, B). Repetitive movement of a structure due to the force of Vorticella and flow (Lower, C, D). Credit: Toyohashi University Of Technology.

A research team at the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Toyohashi University of Technology has developed a method to construct a biohybrid system that incorporates Vorticella microorganisms. The method allows movable structures to be formed in a microchannel and combined with Vorticella. In addition, the biohybrid system demonstrates the conversion of motion from linear motion to rotation. The results of their research was published in the IEEE/ASME Journal of Microelectromechanical Systems on April 11th, 2019.

Complex - Control - Systems - Operation - Microsystems

Complex control systems are required for the operation of smart microsystems, and their sizes should be reduced. Cells are expected to be applicable as alternatives to these complex control systems. Because a cell integrates many functions in its body and responds to its surrounding environment, cells are intelligent and can be used in smart micromechanical systems.

In particular, Vorticella convallaria has a stalk (approximately 100 μm in length) that contracts and relaxes, and it works as an autonomous linear actuator. The combination of stalks and movable structures will form an autonomous microsystem. However, the construction of biohybrid systems in a microchannel is difficult, as it is necessary to establish a cell patterning method and a biocompatible assembly process for the structure and cell.

Research - Group - Method - System - Vorticella

The research group has developed a method to construct a biohybrid system that incorporates Vorticella. "Harnessing microorganisms requires that a batch assembly method be applied to the movable components in a microchannel. It is necessary to pattern a...
(Excerpt) Read more at: phys.org
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