Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Ultra-low Power Actuator Suitable For In-vivo Biomedical Applications

Date:
October 14, 2009
Source:
Interuniversity Microelectronics Centre (IMEC)
Summary:
Researchers have developed an actuator that runs on ultra-low power and that is watertight. This innovative combination of characteristics makes the actuator especially suited for use in in-vivo biomedical applications, and, in general, for all applications that need to combine a long autonomy with small batteries. The prototype has an integrated micro-needle, which can be steered by the actuator.

IMEC's inchworm actuator has 6 pull-in actuators; 4 are used for latching and 2 for driving. By proper latching, unlatching, and driving the shuttle, the actuator can drive a bidirectional step-like movement.
Credit: Image courtesy of Interuniversity Microelectronics Centre (IMEC)

IMEC has developed an actuator that runs on ultra-low power and that is watertight. This innovative combination of characteristics makes the actuator especially suited for use in in-vivo biomedical applications, and, in general, for all applications that need to combine a long autonomy with small batteries. IMEC’s prototype has an integrated micro-needle, which can be steered by the actuator.

The new actuator is fabricated using SOI-based (silicon-on-insulator) micromachining. The actuator combines a large range (ą50ľm) with sufficient force (ą195ľN) to position for example in-vivo brain electrodes. It works at 11V, which is three times lower than the operating voltages of the current available actuators. Moreover, the actuator consumes below 100nW and can therefore be used in applications that require a long battery life. IMEC has integrated the actuator with a micro-needle in a watertight encapsulation that does not hinder the movement of actuator and needle. The package includes a flip-chip mounted glass cap and hydrophobic surface treatment to prevent water ingress.

A micro-actuator is a MEMS-device (micro-electromechanical system) that converts energy into micro-movements, allowing it to position or control elements with a high precision, and with steps of a few micrometers or even nanometers. IMEC’s actuator is an electrostatic inchworm actuator, having 6 arms that selectively latch, unlatch, and drive.

Today, micro-actuators are already used in medical applications where biological objects or their environment need to be controlled at the microscopic scale. Examples are micro-manipulators, micro-surgery tools, micro-pumps, and micro-needles. One particular biomedical application of micro-actuators is to integrate them with microprobes for brain applications. Today, actuators for brain implants are already used during brain research; but they are placed outside the body. IMEC’s inchworm actuator combines small size with water tightness and a long autonomy, enabling implantation and thus long-term patient treatment. The actuator could be used to accurately control the position of micro-needles used in brain applications. This is necessary to reach the correct groups of neurons for the specific disorder and to get near the neurons for a better signal to noise ratio.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Interuniversity Microelectronics Centre (IMEC). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Interuniversity Microelectronics Centre (IMEC). "Ultra-low Power Actuator Suitable For In-vivo Biomedical Applications." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 October 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091006104502.htm>.
Interuniversity Microelectronics Centre (IMEC). (2009, October 14). Ultra-low Power Actuator Suitable For In-vivo Biomedical Applications. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091006104502.htm
Interuniversity Microelectronics Centre (IMEC). "Ultra-low Power Actuator Suitable For In-vivo Biomedical Applications." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091006104502.htm (accessed July 28, 2014).

Share This




More Computers & Math News

Monday, July 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Google's Next Frontier: The Human Body

Google's Next Frontier: The Human Body

Newsy (July 27, 2014) — Google is collecting genetic and molecular information to paint a picture of the perfectly healthy human. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Congress OKs Unlocking Phones From Carriers

Congress OKs Unlocking Phones From Carriers

Newsy (July 26, 2014) — A bill legalizing "unlocking," or untethering a phone from its default wireless carrier, has passed Congress and is expected to be signed into law. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Apple Acquires 'Pandora of Books' Service BookLamp

Apple Acquires 'Pandora of Books' Service BookLamp

Newsy (July 26, 2014) — Apple reportedly acquired analytics and recommendation engine BookLamp for between $10 and $15 million. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Wikipedia Puts Congress in Time Out, Blocks Editing

Wikipedia Puts Congress in Time Out, Blocks Editing

Newsy (July 26, 2014) — An IP address within the House of Representatives was banned from editing Wikipedia articles for 10 days after it made some questionable changes. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins