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Automatic cell injection has been the focus of many researches and commercial development for several years. In this paper, a robotic cell injection system for automatic batch injection of suspended cells is developed. To facilitate the process, these suspended cells are held and fixed to a cell array by a specially designed cell holding device, and injected one by one through an "out-of-plane" cell injection process. A micropipette equipped with a PVDF micro force sensor is integrated in the proposed system. The force sensor is utilized to measure real time injection force applied to the cells during injection process. Through calibration of the relationship between the cell injection force and the desired injector pipette trajectory, a position (vision) and force control algorithm is proposed and applied to the motion control of the injection pipette in three-coordinate directions during an injection process. The out-of-plane cell injection task is decoupled into a position control in X-Y horizontal plane and an impedance force control in Z-axis. The depth motion of the injector pipette, a common problem of three-dimensional micromanipulation, is indirectly controlled by the force control. Finally, experimental results are given to demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed approach.
Date of Conference: 19-23 May 2008