Hu, X., Yasa, I. C., Ren, Z., Goudu, S. R., Ceylan, H., Hu, W., Sitti, M.

Jun 4, 2021
Science Advances
Soft untethered micromachines with overall sizes less than 100 μm enable diverse programmed shape transformations and functions for future biomedical and organ on a chip applications. However, fabrication of such machines has been hampered by the lack of control of microactuators programmability. To address such challenge, we use two photon polymerization to selectively link Janus microparticle based magnetic microactuators by three dimensional (3D) printing of soft or rigid polymer microstructures or links. Sequentially, we position each microactuator at a desired location by surface rolling and rotation to a desired position and orientation by applying magnetic field-based torques, and then 3D printing soft or rigid links to connect with other temporarily fixed microactuators. The linked 2D microactuator networks exhibit programmed 2D and 3D shape transformations, and untethered limbless and limbed micromachine prototypes exhibit various robotic gaits for surface locomotion. The fabrication strategy presented here can enable soft micromachine designs and applications at the cellular scales.
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