Biomanipulation tasks involve delicate and precise manual control of micropipettes under a microscope. The operations are carried out by highly trained operators who spend hours peering through the binoculars of microscopes. As a result, the skills of the operator and the taxing working conditions have a significant impact on the results of biomanipulations.
This situation has motivated research at the Biomedical Robotics Laboratory towards the development of robotic systems to automate biomanipulations. The systems created here were shown to significantly improve the consistency and efficiency of these operations across multiples scales: from blastocyst (100µm) to CHO cells (20µm). In addition, our robotic systems outperformed expert operators in microinjection tasks.
Our robotic micro-biomanipulation systems can play a significant role in improving such operations also in situations requiring the flexibility of direct operator control (e.g., in research environments developing or testing new protocols). The benefits come from novel assistive teleoperation methods, which improve the microinjection setup ergonomics and offer easy and precise control over the biomanipulation equipment.