Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors

Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

Home > Press > Micro-bubbles make big impact: Research team develops new ultrasound-powered actuator to develop micro robot

Abstract:
The quest to develop a wireless micro-robot for biomedical applications requires a small-scale "motor" that can be wirelessly powered through biological media. While magnetic fields can be used to power small robots wirelessly, they do not provide selectivity since all actuators (the components controlling motion) under the same magnetic field just follow the same motion. To address this intrinsic limitation of magnetic actuation, a team of German researchers has developed a way to use microbubbles to provide the specificity needed to power micro-robots for biomedical applications.

Micro-bubbles make big impact: Research team develops new ultrasound-powered actuator to develop micro robot

Washington, DC | Posted on November 25th, 2016

This week in Applied Physics Letters, from AIP Publishing, the team describes this new approach that offers multiple advantages over previous techniques.

"First, by applying ultrasound at different frequencies, multiple actuators can be individually addressed; second, the actuators require no on-board electronics which make them smaller, lighter and safer; and third, the approach is scalable to the sub-millimeter size," said Tian Qiu, a researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems in Germany.

The research team encountered some surprises along the way. Normally a special material, like a magnetic or piezoelectric material, is required for an actuator. In this case, they used a standard commercial polymer that simply traps air bubbles, and then used the air-liquid interface of the trapped bubbles to convert the ultrasound power into mechanical motion.

"We found that a thin surface (30-120 micrometers effective thickness) with appropriate topological patterning can provide propulsion force using ultrasound, and thousands of these bubbles together can push a device at millimeter scale," Qiu said. "The simplicity of the structure and material to accomplish this task was a pleasant surprise."

The team is already looking forward to developing their actuator further.

"The next steps are to increase the propulsive force of the functional surface, to integrate the actuator into a useful biomedical device, and then to test it in a real biological environment, including in vivo," Qiu said.

The adoption of micro-structured surfaces as wireless actuators opens promising new possibilities in the development of miniaturized devices and tools for fluidic environments accessible by low intensity ultrasound fields. These functional surfaces could serve as ready-to-attach wireless actuators, powering miniaturized biomedical devices for applications such as active endoscopes.

####

About American Institute of Physics
Applied Physics Letters features concise, rapid reports on significant new findings in applied physics. The journal covers new experimental and theoretical research on applications of physics phenomena related to all branches of science, engineering, and modern technology. See apl.aip.org.

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
AIP Media Line

301-209-3090

Copyright © American Institute of Physics

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related Links

The article, "Wireless actuation with functional acoustic surfaces," is authored by T. Qiu, S. Palagi, A.G. Mark, K. Melde, F. Adams and P. Fischer. The article will appear in the journal Applied Physics Letter on November 22, 2016 (DOI: 10.1063/1.4945311). After that date, it can be accessed at:

Related News Press

News and information

Basque researchers turn light upside down February 23rd, 2018

Stiffness matters February 23rd, 2018

Imaging individual flexible DNA 'building blocks' in 3-D: Berkeley Lab researchers generate first images of 129 DNA structures February 22nd, 2018

'Memtransistor' brings world closer to brain-like computing: Combined memristor and transistor can process information and store memory with one device February 22nd, 2018

Magnetism

Oxford Instruments announces Dr Kate Ross as winner of the 2018 Lee Osheroff Richardson Science Prize for North and South America February 20th, 2018

Fast-spinning spheres show nanoscale systems' secrets: Rice University lab demonstrates energetic properties of colloids in spinning magnetic field February 7th, 2018

New method enables high-resolution measurements of magnetism February 7th, 2018

Quantum cocktail provides insights on memory control: Experiments based on atoms in a shaken artificial crystal offer insight that might help in the development of future data-storage devices January 26th, 2018

'Gyroscope' molecules form crystal that's both solid and full of motion: New type of molecular machine designed by UCLA researchers could have wide-ranging applications in technology and science January 16th, 2018

Robotics

Moving nanoparticles using light and magnetic fields January 25th, 2018

Piecework at the nano assembly line: Electric fields drive nano-motors a 100,000 times faster than previous methods January 22nd, 2018

Going swimmingly: Biotemplates breakthrough paves way for cheaper nanobots: By using bacterial flagella as a template for silica, researchers have demonstrated an easier way to make propulsion systems for nanoscale swimming robots November 30th, 2017

Possible Futures

Basque researchers turn light upside down February 23rd, 2018

Stiffness matters February 23rd, 2018

Developing reliable quantum computers February 22nd, 2018

Imaging individual flexible DNA 'building blocks' in 3-D: Berkeley Lab researchers generate first images of 129 DNA structures February 22nd, 2018

Molecular Machines

Piecework at the nano assembly line: Electric fields drive nano-motors a 100,000 times faster than previous methods January 22nd, 2018

'Gyroscope' molecules form crystal that's both solid and full of motion: New type of molecular machine designed by UCLA researchers could have wide-ranging applications in technology and science January 16th, 2018

Going swimmingly: Biotemplates breakthrough paves way for cheaper nanobots: By using bacterial flagella as a template for silica, researchers have demonstrated an easier way to make propulsion systems for nanoscale swimming robots November 30th, 2017

How to draw electricity from the bloodstream: A one-dimensional fluidic nanogenerator with a high power-conversion efficiency September 11th, 2017

Discoveries

Basque researchers turn light upside down February 23rd, 2018

Histology in 3-D: New staining method enables Nano-CT imaging of tissue samples February 22nd, 2018

Developing reliable quantum computers February 22nd, 2018

Imaging individual flexible DNA 'building blocks' in 3-D: Berkeley Lab researchers generate first images of 129 DNA structures February 22nd, 2018

Announcements

Basque researchers turn light upside down February 23rd, 2018

Stiffness matters February 23rd, 2018

Histology in 3-D: New staining method enables Nano-CT imaging of tissue samples February 22nd, 2018

Developing reliable quantum computers February 22nd, 2018

Interviews/Book Reviews/Essays/Reports/Podcasts/Journals/White papers

Basque researchers turn light upside down February 23rd, 2018

Stiffness matters February 23rd, 2018

Histology in 3-D: New staining method enables Nano-CT imaging of tissue samples February 22nd, 2018

Developing reliable quantum computers February 22nd, 2018

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE



  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More











ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project