Untethered microgripper-the dexterous hand at microscale
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Untethered microgrippers that can navigate in hard-to-reach and unpredictable environments are significantly important for biomedical applications such as targeted drug delivery, micromanipulation, minimally invasive surgery and in vivo biopsy. Compared with the traditional tethered microgrippers, the wireless microgrippers, due to the exceptional characteristics such as miniaturized size, untethered actuation, dexterous and autonomous motion, are projected to be promising microtools in various future applications. In this review, we categorize the untethered microgrippers into five major classes, i.e. microgrippers responsive to thermal, microgrippers actuated by magnetic fields, microgrippers responsive to chemicals, light-driven microgrippers and hybrid actuated microgrippers. Firstly, the actuation mechanisms of these microgrippers are introduced. The challenges faced by these microgrippers are also covered in this part. With that, the fabrication methods of these microgrippers are summarized. Subsequently, the applications of microgrippers are presented. Additionally, we conduct a comparison among different actuation mechanisms to explore the advantages and potential challenges of various types of microgrippers. In the end of this review, conclusions and outlook of the development and potential applications of the microgrippers are discussed.
KeywordsUntethered Microgripper Stimuli-responsive Biomedicine
This work is financially supported by the National Science Foundation of China (No.61803088), and also partially supported by the Natural Science Foundation of Fujian Province, China (No. 2017 J01748), the Open Project Programs from both the State Key Laboratory of Robotics, Shenyang Institute of Automation, Chinese Academy of Sciences (Grant No: 2017-O02) and the State Key Laboratory of Photocatalysis on Energy and Environment. The author would also like to thank the funding from Fuzhou University (Grant No. SKLPEE-KF201718), and Fuzhou University Testing Fund of precious apparatus (No. 2018 T016).
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