Microbiorobotics - 1st Edition - ISBN: 9781455778911, 9781455778942


1st Edition

Biologically Inspired Microscale Robotic Systems

Editors: Minjun Kim Anak Agung Julius
Hardcover ISBN: 9781455778911
eBook ISBN: 9781455778942
Imprint: William Andrew
Published Date: 23rd March 2012
Page Count: 328
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Table of Contents



About the Editors

PART 1. Introduction

Motivation for Microbiorobotics

Historical Overview

Low Reynolds number swimming

Taxis of microorganisms

Artificial bio-inspired microrobots

Biological microrobots


About this Book



PART 2. Fundamentals of Cellular Mechanics

Chapter 1. Fluid–Structure Interactions and Flagellar Actuation

1.1 Introduction

1.2 Hydrodynamics of slender filaments

1.3 Elastic forces in slender filaments

1.4 Swimming velocity of bacterium with helical flagellum

1.5 Fluid–structure interactions in bacterial flagella

1.6 Flagella in viscoelastic fluids

1.7 Fluid–structure interaction in eukaryotic flagella

1.8 Probing dynein coordination using models of spontaneous flagellar beating

Chapter 2. Mathematical Models for Individual Swimming Bacteria

2.1 Introduction

2.2 The biological, mathematical, and numerical background

2.3 A selective survey of recent progress in modeling applications

2.4 Future perspectives


Chapter 3. in Motion

3.1 Introduction

3.2 Tetrahymena as a model cell

3.3 Migratory responses in biology

3.4 Specific signaling pathways

3.5 Microbiorobotics in Tetrahymena

3.6 Migration-specific phenomena

3.7 Strategies in migration assays in Tetrahymena

3.8 Concluding remarks


PART 3. Theoretical Microbiorobotics

Chapter 4. Broadcast Control for a Large Array of Stochastically Controlled Piezoelectric Actuators

4.1 Introduction

4.2 Cellular control system inspired by biological muscles

4.3 Piezoelectric actuator cells with large strain amplification

4.4 Stochastic broadcast feedback

4.5 Fingerprint method for modeling and characterizing stochastic actuator arrays

4.6 Conclusion


Chapter 5. Stochastic Models and Control of Bacterial Bioactuators and Biomicrorobots

5.1 Stochasticity in the cellular behavior of bacteria

5.2 Mathematical models for stochastic cellular behavior

5.3 Stochasticity in the flagellated bacteria motility

5.4 Modeling and control of MicroBioRobots

5.5 Model for electrokinetic actuation

5.6 Concluding remarks


Chapter 6. Biological Cell Inspired Stochastic Models and Control

6.1 Introduction

6.2 Swarm robotics and models

6.3 Immune system cell motility

6.4 Hamiltonian approach to open-loop stochastic control

6.5 Summary

PART 4. Experimental Microbiorobotics

Chapter 7. Bacteria-Inspired Microrobots

7.1 Introduction

7.2 Fluid mechanics at low Reynolds numbers

7.3 Bacterial swimming

7.4 Actuation of artificial bacterial microrobots

7.5 Swimming behavior

7.6 Artificial bacterial microrobot in biomedical applications

Chapter 8. Magnetotactic Bacteria for Microrobotics

8.1 Introduction

8.2 MC-1 flagellated magnetotactic bacteria (MTB)

8.3 Magnetotactic bacteria as microrobots

8.4 Magnetotaxis versus aerotaxis control

8.5 Natural, bacterial, or MTB-based microrobots versus artificial bacteria-inspired microrobots

8.6 Applications in microassembly

8.7 Applications in medical interventions

8.8 Conclusions


Chapter 9. Flexible Magnetic Microswimmers

9.1 Introduction

9.2 Swimming at low Reynolds number

9.3 Flexible magnetic filaments

9.4 Colloidal swimmers

9.5 Conclusion

Chapter 10. Bacteria-Powered Microrobots

10.1 Introduction

10.2 Methods

10.3 Control of microbiorobots

10.4 Microbiorobots for manipulation and sensing

10.5 Conclusions

Chapter 11. Control of as a Microrobot

11.1 Introduction

11.2 Galvanotaxis Tetrahymena pyriformis

11.3 Phototaxis of Tetrahymena pyriformis

11.4 Magnetotaxis of Tetrahymena pyriformis

11.5 Real-time feedback control system for magnetotactic Tetrahymena pyriformis

Perspectives and Outlook



Microbiorobotics is a new engineering discipline that inherently involves a multidisciplinary approach (mechanical engineering, cellular biology, mathematical modeling, control systems, synthetic biology, etc). Building robotics system in the micro scale is an engineering task that has resulted in many important applications, ranging from micromanufacturing techniques to cellular manipulation. However, it is also a very challenging engineering task. One of the reasons is because many engineering ideas and principles that are used in larger scales do not scale well to the micro-scale. For example, locomotion principles in a fluid do not function in the same way, and the use of rotational motors is impractical because of the difficulty of building of the required components.

Key Features

  • Microrobotics is an area that is acknowledged to have massive potential in applications from medicine to manufacturing. This book introduces an inter-disciplinary readership to the toolkit that micro-organisms offer to micro-engineering
  • The design of robots, sensors and actuators faces a range of techology challenges at the micro-scale. This book shows how biological techniques and materials can be used to meet these challenges
  • World-class multi-disciplanry editors and contributors leverage insights from engineering, mathematical modeling and the life sciences – creating a novel toolkit for microrobotics


MEMS (Micro Electro-Mechanical Systems) engineers, Mechanical, biomedical and electrical engineers in corporate R&D groups and academia; robotics professionals; graduate students in disciplines listed


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William Andrew
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About the Editors

Minjun Kim Editor

Dr MinJun Kim is presently an associate professor at Drexel University with a joint appointment in both the Department of Mechanical Engineering & Mechanics and the School of Biomedical Engineering, Science & Health System.. For the past several years, Dr. Kim has been exploring biological transport phenomena including cellular/molecular mechanics and engineering in novel nano/microscale architectures to produce new types of nanobiotechology, such as nanopore technology and nano/micro robotics. His notable awards include the National Science Foundation CAREER Award (2008), Drexel Career Development Award (2008), Human Frontier Science Program Young Investigator Award (2009), Army Research Office Young Investigator Award (2010), Alexander von Humboldt Fellowship (2011), KOFST Brain Pool Fellowship (2013), Bionic Engineering Outstanding Contribution Award (2013), Louis & Bessie Stein Fellowship (2014), ISBE Fellow (2014), and ASME Fellow (2014).

Affiliations and Expertise

Associate professor,Department of Mechanical Engineering & Mechanics and School of Biomedical Engineering, Science & Health Systems, Drexel University

Anak Agung Julius Editor

Dr. Anak Agung Julius is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Electrical, Computer, and Systems Engineering at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He is also a faculty member of the Rensselaer Center for Automation Technologies and Systems. His research interests lie in the intersection of systems and control theory, systems biology, and theoretical computer science

Affiliations and Expertise

Assistant Professor, Department of Electrical, Computer, and Systems Engineering, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute