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Proceedings Paper

Monolithic shape memory alloy microgripper for 3D assembly of tissue engineering scaffolds
Author(s): Han Zhang; Yves Bellouard; Thomas C. Sidler; Etienne Burdet; Aun-Neow Poo; Reymond Clavel
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Paper Abstract

This paper describes a microgripper used for the micro-assembly of an artificial scaffold for tissue engineering. The porous sponge-like scaffold is a three dimensional construct built by tiny unit parts of biodegradable polymer. This application requires the assembly of several parts by applying a suitable level of force. In this framework, a monolithic shape memory alloy (SMA) microgripper was developed. It consists of two small fingers for grasping, an active part that changes its shape when heated and a parallel elastic structure used as a bias spring. The main aspect of the design is that all these elements are included within a single piece of material, but have different mechanical properties and serve as different functions. Using a new technology of Shape Memory Alloy laser annealing developed at EPFL, a local shape memory effect is introduced on the active part while leaving the remaining areas in a state where no shape memory effect occurs, i.e., in a cold-worked state. The parallel elastic structure is used to provide a pullback force on cooling as well as to guide the finger movement. An electrical path is integrated to heat the active part and drive the gripper by Joule effect. This paper focuses on the principle of the micro-gripper, its design, calculations and describes the fabrication process. Some first experimental results are also presented.

Paper Details

Date Published: 8 October 2001
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 4568, Microrobotics and Microassembly III, (8 October 2001); doi: 10.1117/12.444144
Show Author Affiliations
Han Zhang, National Univ. of Singapore (Singapore)
Yves Bellouard, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology/Lausanne (United States)
Thomas C. Sidler, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology/Lausanne (Switzerland)
Etienne Burdet, National Univ. of Singapore (Singapore)
Aun-Neow Poo, National Univ. of Singapore (Singapore)
Reymond Clavel, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology/Lausanne (Switzerland)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4568:
Microrobotics and Microassembly III
Bradley J. Nelson; Jean-Marc Breguet, Editor(s)

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