Bacterial microsystems and microrobots

Biomed Microdevices. 2012 Dec;14(6):1033-45. doi: 10.1007/s10544-012-9696-x.


Microorganisms and specifically motile bacteria have been recently added to the list of micro-actuators typically considered for the implementation of microsystems and microrobots. Such trend has been motivated by the fact these microorganisms are self-powered actuators with overall sizes at the lower end of the micrometer range and which have proven to be extremely effective in low Reynolds number hydrodynamic regime of usually less than 10(-2). Furthermore, the various sensors or taxes in bacteria influencing their movements can also be exploited to perform tasks that were previously considered only for futuristic artificial microrobots. Bacterial implementations and related issues are not only reviewed, but this paper also proposes many techniques and approaches that can be considered as building blocks for the implementations of more sophisticated microsystems and microrobots.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Bacteria / metabolism*
  • Bacterial Adhesion
  • Chemotaxis
  • Microfluidics / methods
  • Robotics / instrumentation*
  • Robotics / methods
  • Systems Biology / methods*