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Characterization of bacterial actuation of micro-objects

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2 Author(s)
Behkam, B. ; Dept. of Mech. Eng., Virginia Polytech. Inst. & State Univ., Blacksburg, VA, USA ; Sitti, M.

In recent years, flagellar motors of bacteria have not only inspired design of an entirely new category of microrobots, they have also been interfaced with synthetic components and used for controlled actuation of microscale objects. The ultimate goal of these efforts is to develop bio-hybrid swimming micro-robots which use bacteria for actuation, control, and sensing. As bacteria begin to become an integral part of microscale engineered systems, there is a great need for characterizing their performance and understanding the forces involved in interfacing them with synthetic components. In this work repeatability and endurance (performance as a function of time) of an ensemble of bacteria used for actuation of 10 mum polystyrene micro-beads are characterized. Moreover, a series of adhesion assay methods are introduced and used to determine the strength and timeline of adhesion of Serratia marcescens (S. marcescens) bacteria to hydrophobic and hydrophilic polystyrene surfaces.

Published in:

Robotics and Automation, 2009. ICRA '09. IEEE International Conference on

Date of Conference:

12-17 May 2009