Microgripper "Hand"- Navigates Through the Body to Grab or Biopsy Cells

by Madhumathi Palaniappan on Nov 11 2016 11:19 AM

Microgripper `Hand`- Navigates Through the Body to Grab or Biopsy Cells
The decade long discovery of a tiny star-shaped “microgripper hand” was found to be capable of traveling within the circulatory system and can fold a targeted tissue or biopsy cell.
During the AVS 63rd International Symposium and Exhibition being held November 6-11, 2016 , in Nashville, Tennessee, David Gracias of the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore will explain the decade-long effort of his laboratory to develop a “microgripper hand” that can do all of these tasks.

“We fabricate the star-shaped grippers from biocompatible metals or polymers, and even bioresorbable [that can be absorbed by the body] silicon-based materials, using techniques similar to those that produce microchips,” Gracias said. “Our grippers require no batteries, wires, or tethers to operate; physiological stimuli such as body temperature causes their ‘fingers’ to close around tissue or even a single cell.”

Gracias and his colleagues have demonstrated the feasibility of their grippers by using them to capture single mouse fibroblast cells (which produce collagen) in culture, collect individual red cells from blood samples and biopsy cells from the colon and esophagus of a live pig.