Designing of a Si-MEMS device with an integrated skeletal muscle cell-based bio-actuator

Biomed Microdevices. 2011 Feb;13(1):123-9. doi: 10.1007/s10544-010-9477-3.


With the aim of designing a mechanical drug delivery system involving a bio-actuator, we fabricated a Micro Electro Mechanical Systems (MEMS) device that can be driven through contraction of skeletal muscle cells. The device is composed of a Si-MEMS with springs and ratchets, UV-crosslinked collagen film for cell attachment, and C2C12 muscle cells. The Si-MEMS device is 600 μm x 1000 μm in size and the width of the collagen film is 250 ~ 350 μm, which may allow the device to go through small blood vessels. To position the collagen film on the MEMS device, a thermo-sensitive polymer was used as the sacrifice-layer which was selectively removed with O₂ plasma at the positions where the collagen film was glued. The C2C12 myoblasts were seeded on the collagen film, where they proliferated and formed myotubes after induction of differentiation. When C2C12 myotubes were stimulated with electric pulses, contraction of the collagen film-C2C12 myotube complex was observed. When the edge of the Si-MEMS device was observed, displacement of ~8 μm was observed, demonstrating the possibility of locomotive movement when the device is placed on a track of adequate width. Here, we propose that the C2C12-collagen film complex is a new generation actuator for MEMS devices that utilize glucose as fuel, which will be useful in environments in which glucose is abundant such as inside a blood vessel.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Line
  • Collagen / metabolism
  • Electric Stimulation
  • Energy Metabolism
  • Glucose / metabolism
  • Mechanical Phenomena*
  • Mice
  • Microtechnology / instrumentation*
  • Muscle Fibers, Skeletal / cytology*
  • Muscle Fibers, Skeletal / metabolism
  • Systems Integration*


  • Collagen
  • Glucose