The research objective of this proposal is to develop and use optically controlled microbubbles as a microrobotic system that will be used for the microassembly of artificial tissues. The optical control platform developed here will be able to control at least 50 independent microrobots in parallel, which is ten times that of current microrobotic systems. The microrobots will be able to cooperate to accomplish micromanipulation and micro-assembly tasks that can be applied to the manipulation and micro-assembly of biological cells. The micro-assembled cells can be used to create cell and tissue cultures that can be used for artificial tissue growth, drug discovery, and drug testing. The proposed project will focus on the following specific aims: 1) parallel, independent actuation of at least 50 bubble microrobots using automated optical control;2) microassembly of cell-laden hydrogels using the bubble microrobots;3) Cell patterning, sorting, and sonoporation using the bubble microrobots;4) Microassembly of cells using the microrobots to form artificial tissues. The proposed cellular microassembly for tissue engineering will address an obstacle for the development of drug therapies: cells used for drug testing are not fully representative of in vivo cell behavior. The microrobots proposed here will enable the precise yet flexible manipulation and micro-assembly of cells for building artificial tissues, creating more realistic in vitro model, and streamlining the process of developing new drug therapies. The proposed project aligns well with the mission of the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB). This project integrates engineering and life sciences to create microrobotic systems that can advance basic medical research and medical care. The microrobotic systems will benefit medical researchers by providing them with new tools, enabling previously unrealizable protocols and experiments. The creation of artificial tissues can improve drug discovery and testing, leading to higher-quality medical care.

Public Health Relevance

This project integrates engineering and life sciences with the goal of advancing basic medical research by creating a new microrobotic system that will enable new and novel experiments. The project will also advance medical care by exploring the creation of artificial tissues for drug testing or implantation.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB)
Research Project (R01)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZEB1-OSR-A (M1))
Program Officer
Hunziker, Rosemarie
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University of Hawaii
Engineering (All Types)
Schools of Engineering
United States
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Fan, Qihui; Hu, Wenqi; Ohta, Aaron T (2017) Localized Single-Cell Lysis and Manipulation Using Optothermally-Induced Bubbles. Micromachines (Basel) 8:
Rahman, M Arifur; Cheng, Julian; Wang, Zhidong et al. (2017) Cooperative Micromanipulation Using the Independent Actuation of Fifty Microrobots in Parallel. Sci Rep 7:3278
Rahman, M Arifur; Takahashi, Noboru; Siliga, Kawai F et al. (2017) Vision-assisted micromanipulation using closed-loop actuation of multiple microrobots. Robotics Biomim 4:7
Fan, Qihui; Hu, Wenqi; Ohta, Aaron T (2015) Efficient single-cell poration by microsecond laser pulses. Lab Chip 15:581-8
Fan, Qihui; Hu, Wenqi; Ohta, Aaron T (2014) Laser-induced microbubble poration of localized single cells. Lab Chip 14:1572-8
Hu, Wenqi; Fan, Qihui; Ohta, Aaron T (2014) Interactive actuation of multiple opto-thermocapillary flow-addressed bubble microrobots. Robotics Biomim 1:14
Hu, Wenqi; Fan, Qihui; Tonaki, Wade et al. (2013) Bubble-driven light-absorbing hydrogel microrobot for the assembly of bio-objects. Conf Proc IEEE Eng Med Biol Soc 2013:5303-6
Fan, Qihui; Hu, Wenqi; Ohta, Aaron T (2013) Light-induced microbubble poration of localized cells. Conf Proc IEEE Eng Med Biol Soc 2013:4482-5
Hu, Wenqi; Fan, Qihui; Ohta, Aaron T (2013) An opto-thermocapillary cell micromanipulator. Lab Chip 13:2285-91