Dataset Information


Soft Modular Robotic Cubes: Toward Replicating Morphogenetic Movements of the Embryo.

ABSTRACT: In this paper we present a new type of simple, pneumatically actuated, soft modular robotic system that can reproduce fundamental cell behaviors observed during morphogenesis; the initial shaping stage of the living embryo. The fabrication method uses soft lithography for producing composite elastomeric hollow cubes and permanent magnets as passive docking mechanism. Actuation is achieved by controlling the internal pressurization of cubes with external micro air pumps. Our experiments show how simple soft robotic modules can serve to reproduce to great extend the overall mechanics of collective cell migration, delamination, invagination, involution, epiboly and even simple forms of self-reconfiguration. Instead of relying in complex rigid onboard docking hardware, we exploit the coordinated inflation/deflation of modules as a simple mechanism to detach/attach modules and even rearrange the spatial position of components. Our results suggest new avenues for producing inexpensive, yet functioning, synthetic morphogenetic systems and provide new tangible models of cell behavior.


PROVIDER: S-EPMC5218564 | BioStudies | 2017-01-01

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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