Scientists manage to create tiny robots capable of managing all kinds of samples in a laboratory


As part of biotechnological research, scientists often delegate responsibility for the organization of fluid microphones to large and clumsy machines that organize all these samples, something that could end up improving inefficiency if a recent invention thrives.
The engineers at the University of California are working on a fleet of tiny disk-shaped machines that function as warehouse robots, moving and depositing small droplets with enormous precision. Interestingly, researchers were inspired by organizational efficiency and distribution present in Amazon stores, to implement the same level of automation and mobility within the microfluidic environment. The problem they have faced is that they do not work on a huge warehouse, but on small surfaces with liquid samples.
Robots pequeños para gestionar muestras

To do this they manufactured a surface the size of a card that is equipped with internal structures and test trays to accommodate small amounts of fluid. The robots that move on it measure about 2 mm in diameter and are manipulated by electromagnetic tiles integrated into the platform that drag them along the predetermined path at speeds of 10 cm / s.In this way, magnetic robots can work together to perform certain jobs. In one of the experiments they have released, they have shown how three robots collaborated to move and manipulate human plasma samples as part of a cancer biomarker test.
These robots are also able to divide a larger droplet into smaller and equal ones to perform consistent tests, then depositing the droplets in test trays and fusing different fluids into individual samples.
The team notes that “in the same way that Amazon robots transformed the logistics-based industries, this technology could transform several biotechnology-related industries, including medical diagnosis, drug development, genomics and chemical synthesis. and materials, ”says lead study author Dino Di Carlo.

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