Robotics has great potential to facilitate and improve the manipulation of biological structures such as individual cells and embryos. For example, we are developing new technologies and systems that directly impact research in genetics, drug discovery, and neuroscience. These areas currently depend on labor intensive manual biomanipulations and thus suffer from low consistency, low efficiency, and from the need for extensive training of operators. Consequently, our research goal is to improve and transform these operations through teleoperation and automation.
Computer-assisted teleoperated biomanipulations can improve the success of the operations by offering a precise and intuitive control interface to operators. Automation, on the other hand, can enable high-throughput operations based on fast and precise positioning of the micromanipulation tools.
Applications of the new technologies being developed here include the microinjection of adherent cells (neurons, CHO cells, HeLa cells, etc.), ICSI, and the microinjection of oocytes and early embryos, all of which are delicate operations performed on a regular basis in biomedical research laboratories.