Establishment of a fabrication method for a long-term actuated hybrid cell robot

Lab Chip. 2007 Nov;7(11):1504-8. doi: 10.1039/b705367c. Epub 2007 Aug 10.


We developed a novel method to fabricate a crab-like microrobot that can actuate for a long period in a physiological condition. The microrobot backbone was built with a biocompatible and elastic material-polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS)-by using a specially designed 3D molding aligner, and consisted of three strips of PDMS "legs" connected across a "body." Cardiomyocytes were then plated on the grooved top surface of the backbone, resulting in a high concentration of pulsating cells. These key techniques enabled the microrobot to walk continuously for over ten days. The performance of our crab-like microrobot was measured at an average velocity of 100 microm s(-1), and the estimated total distance it travelled was 50 m over a one-week period. Thus, we have demonstrated for the first time a walking robot that exhibited reliable and long-term actuation performances.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Equipment Design
  • Myocardium / cytology*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Robotics*