Cellular expression through morphogen delivery by light activated magnetic microrobots

Research paper by Sambeeta Das, Elizabeth E. Hunter, Nicholas A. DeLateur, Edward B. Steager, Ron Weiss, Vijay Kumar

Indexed on: 26 Feb '20Published on: 17 Jun '19Published in: Journal of Micro-Bio Robotics


Microrobots have many potential uses in microbiology since they can be remotely actuated and precisely manipulated in biochemical fluids. Cellular function and response depends on biochemicals. Therefore, various delivery methods have been developed for delivering biologically relevant cargo using microrobots. However, localized targeting without payload leakage during transport is challenging. Here, we design a microrobotic platform capable of on-demand delivery of signaling molecules in biological systems. The on-demand delivery method is based on a light-responsive photolabile linker which releases a cell-to-cell signaling molecule when exposed to light, integrated on the surface of microrobots. Successful delivery of the signaling molecules and subsequent gene regulation is also demonstrated. This proposed method can be used for multiple applications, especially in biology, engineering, and medicine where on-demand delivery of chemical cargo at targeted locations is important.