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Article

Antonio Cotroneo, Giovanni Vozzi, Luigi Gerovasi and Danilo De Rossi

Over the last few years, there has been considerable interest in developing autonomous robots that are able to move in constrained environments, inspired by the motion of…

Abstract

Over the last few years, there has been considerable interest in developing autonomous robots that are able to move in constrained environments, inspired by the motion of lower animal forms such as parasites, worms, insects and even snakes and eels. In this paper, we describe a new design and concept of autonomous microrobot based on senseless motion. The “senseless motion” is the movement in absence of an external perception system. In a lot of living species, rhythmic movements, finalized to locomotion, are produced by oscillating circuits in the central nervous system. We reproduced this motion using a voice‐coil actuator embedded with its control hardware in a cylinder presents on its external surface a skate‐like structure produces a differential friction in order to move the robot on different substrates. Preliminary experiments have been carried out on several materials in order to measure the frictional forces produced by the robot during its motion and to verify the repeatability of senseless motion.

Details

Multidiscipline Modeling in Materials and Structures, vol. 4 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1573-6105

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Article

Annalisa Tirella, Carmelo De Maria, Giuseppe Criscenti, Giovanni Vozzi and Arti Ahluwalia

The traditional tissue engineering approach employs rapid prototyping systems to realise microstructures (i.e. scaffolds) which recapitulate the function and organization…

Abstract

Purpose

The traditional tissue engineering approach employs rapid prototyping systems to realise microstructures (i.e. scaffolds) which recapitulate the function and organization of native tissues. The purpose of this paper is to describe a new rapid prototyping system (PAM‐modular micro‐fabrication system, PAM2) able to fabricate microstructures using materials with different properties in a controlled environment.

Design/methodology/approach

Computer‐aided technologies were used to design multi‐scale biological models. Scaffolds with specific features were then designed using custom software and manufactured using suitable modules. In particular, several manufacturing modules were realised to enlarge the PAM2 processing material window, controlling physical parameters such as pressure, force, temperature and light. These modules were integrated in PAM2, allowing a precise control of fabrication parameters through a modular approach and hardware configuration.

Findings

Synthetic and natural polymeric solutions, thermo‐sensitive and photo‐sensitive materials can be used to fabricate 3D scaffolds. Both simple and complex architectures with high fidelity and spatial resolution ranging from ±15 μm to ±200μm (according to ink properties and extrusion module used) were realised.

Originality/value

The PAM2 system is a new rapid prototyping technique which operates in controlled conditions (for example temperature, pressure or light intensity) and integrates several manufacturing modules for the fabrication of complex or multimaterial microstructures. In this paper it is shown how the system can be configured and then used to fabricate scaffolds mimicking the extra‐cellular matrix, both in its properties (i.e. physic‐chemical and mechanical properties) and architecture.

Details

Rapid Prototyping Journal, vol. 18 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1355-2546

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Article

Yan Li, Dichen Li, Bingheng Lu, Dajing Gao and Jack Zhou

The purpose of this paper is to review the current status of additive manufacturing (AM) used for tissue engineering (TE) scaffold. AM processes are identified as an…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to review the current status of additive manufacturing (AM) used for tissue engineering (TE) scaffold. AM processes are identified as an effective method for fabricating geometrically complex objects directly from computer models or three-dimensional digital representations. The use of AM technologies in the field of TE has grown rapidly in the past 10 years.

Design/methodology/approach

The processes, materials, precision, applications of different AM technologies and their modified versions used for TE scaffold are presented. Additionally, future directions of AM used for TE scaffold are also discussed.

Findings

There are two principal routes for the fabrication of scaffolds by AM: direct and indirect routes. According to the working principle, the AM technologies used for TE scaffold can be generally classified into: laser-based; nozzle-based; and hybrid. Although a number of materials and fabrication techniques have been developed, each AM technique is a process based on the unique property of the raw materials applied. The fabrication of TE scaffolds faces a variety of challenges, such as expanding the range of materials, improving precision and adapting to complex scaffold structures.

Originality/value

This review presents the latest research regarding AM used for TE scaffold. The information available in this paper helps researchers, scholars and graduate students to get a quick overview on the recent research of AM used for TE scaffold and identify new research directions for AM in TE.

Details

Rapid Prototyping Journal, vol. 21 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1355-2546

Keywords

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