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Compliant Constant-Force Micro-Mechanism for Enabling Dual-Stage Motion

[+] Author Affiliations
Shannon A. Zirbel, Melanie Easter, Brian D. Jensen, Larry L. Howell

Brigham Young University, Provo, UT

Quentin T. Aten

NanoInjection Technologies, Salt Lake City, UT

Paper No. DETC2012-70321, pp. 191-198; 8 pages
  • ASME 2012 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference
  • Volume 4: 36th Mechanisms and Robotics Conference, Parts A and B
  • Chicago, Illinois, USA, August 12–15, 2012
  • Conference Sponsors: Design Engineering Division, Computers and Information in Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4503-5
  • Copyright © 2012 by ASME


This paper describes a fully compliant constant-force micro-mechanism that enables dual-stage motion for nanoinjection. Nanoinjection is a recently developed process for delivering DNA into mouse zygotes via electrostatic accumulation and release of the DNA onto a microelectromechanical system (MEMS) lance.

The fully compliant constant-force nanoinjector is a concatenation of two separate mechanisms: a six-bar mechanism with compliant lamina-emergent torsional (LET) joints to raise the lance, and a pair of constant-force crank-sliders with LET joints positioned on either side of the six-bar mechanism to drive the lance forward.

The fully compliant nanoinjector exhibits self-reconfiguring metamorphic motion to first raise the lance to the midline of the zygote and then translate the lance forward with a controlled motion. This dual-stage motion is necessary for the lance to pierce the zygote without causing damage to the cell membrane.

The device achieves two sequential displacement behaviors in a compliant mechanism fabricated from a single, continuous piece of material.

Copyright © 2012 by ASME



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