Publications by authors named "Wenqi Hu"

45 Publications

Magnetic soft micromachines made of linked microactuator networks.

Sci Adv 2021 Jun 4;7(23). Epub 2021 Jun 4.

Physical Intelligence Department, Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems, 70569 Stuttgart, Germany.

Soft untethered micromachines with overall sizes less than 100 μm enable diverse programmed shape transformations and functions for future biomedical and organ-on-a-chip applications. However, fabrication of such machines has been hampered by the lack of control of microactuator's programmability. To address such challenge, we use two-photon polymerization to selectively link Janus microparticle-based magnetic microactuators by three-dimensional (3D) printing of soft or rigid polymer microstructures or links. Sequentially, we position each microactuator at a desired location by surface rolling and rotation to a desired position and orientation by applying magnetic field-based torques, and then 3D printing soft or rigid links to connect with other temporarily fixed microactuators. The linked 2D microactuator networks exhibit programmed 2D and 3D shape transformations, and untethered limbless and limbed micromachine prototypes exhibit various robotic gaits for surface locomotion. The fabrication strategy presented here can enable soft micromachine designs and applications at the cellular scales.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/sciadv.abe8436DOI Listing
June 2021

Wirelessly Actuated Thermo- and Magneto-Responsive Soft Bimorph Materials with Programmable Shape-Morphing.

Adv Mater 2021 May 28:e2100336. Epub 2021 May 28.

Physical Intelligence Department, Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems, 70569, Stuttgart, Germany.

Soft materials that respond to wireless external stimuli are referred to as "smart" materials due to their promising potential in real-world actuation and sensing applications in robotics, microfluidics, and bioengineering. Recent years have witnessed a burst of these stimuli-responsive materials and their preliminary applications. However, their further advancement demands more versatility, configurability, and adaptability to deliver their promised benefits. Here, a dual-stimuli-responsive soft bimorph material with three configurations that enable complex programmable 3D shape-morphing is presented. The material consists of liquid crystal elastomers (LCEs) and magnetic-responsive elastomers (MREs) via facile fabrication that orthogonally integrates their respective stimuli-responsiveness without detrimentally altering their properties. The material offers an unprecedented wide design space and abundant degree-of-freedoms (DoFs) due to the LCE's programmable director field, the MRE's programmable magnetization profile, and diverse geometric configurations. It responds to wireless stimuli of the controlled magnetic field and environmental temperature. Its dual-responsiveness allows the independent control of different DoFs for complex shape-morphing behaviors with anisotropic material properties. A diverse set of in situ reconfigurable shape-morphing and an environment-aware untethered miniature 12-legged robot capable of locomotion and self-gripping are demonstrated. Such material can provide solutions for the development of future soft robotic and other functional devices.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/adma.202100336DOI Listing
May 2021

Voxelated three-dimensional miniature magnetic soft machines via multimaterial heterogeneous assembly.

Sci Robot 2021 Apr;6(53)

Physical Intelligence Department, Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems, 70569 Stuttgart, Germany.

Small-scale soft-bodied machines that respond to externally applied magnetic field have attracted wide research interest because of their unique capabilities and promising potential in a variety of fields, especially for biomedical applications. When the size of such machines approach the sub-millimeter scale, their designs and functionalities are severely constrained by the available fabrication methods, which only work with limited materials, geometries, and magnetization profiles. To free such constraints, here, we propose a bottom-up assembly-based 3D microfabrication approach to create complex 3D miniature wireless magnetic soft machines at the milli- and sub-millimeter scale with arbitrary multimaterial compositions, arbitrary 3D geometries, and arbitrary programmable 3D magnetization profiles at high spatial resolution. This approach helps us concurrently realize diverse characteristics on the machines, including programmable shape morphing, negative Poisson's ratio, complex stiffness distribution, directional joint bending, and remagnetization for shape reconfiguration. It enlarges the design space and enables biomedical device-related functionalities that are previously difficult to achieve, including peristaltic pumping of biological fluids and transport of solid objects, active targeted cargo transport and delivery, liquid biopsy, and reversible surface anchoring in tortuous tubular environments withstanding fluid flows, all at the sub-millimeter scale. This work improves the achievable complexity of 3D magnetic soft machines and boosts their future capabilities for applications in robotics and biomedical engineering.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/scirobotics.abf0112DOI Listing
April 2021

Adjustment for body mass index changes inverse associations of HDL-cholesterol with blood pressure and hypertension to positive associations.

J Hum Hypertens 2021 May 11. Epub 2021 May 11.

School of Science, Psychology and Sport, Federation University Australia, Ballarat, VIC, Australia.

The associations between high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) and blood pressure (BP) or hypertension are inconsistent in previous studies. This study aimed to assess these associations in a large cohort of Chinese adults and across different age groups. This cross-sectional association study included 22,081 Chinese adults. Associations of HDL-C with BP and hypertension were analyzed using linear or logistic regression, with or without adjustment for confounding factors. HDL-C was inversely associated with BP and hypertension. These associations were still apparent after adjustment for age, sex, fasting plasma glucose, and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol. Sub-analyses revealed: (1) in the whole cohort and females alone, HDL-C was inversely associated with BP and hypertension in young and middle-aged but not older participants; (2) in males alone, HDL-C was not associated with systolic BP or hypertension. However, HDL-C was either inversely, or not, or positively associated with BP in young, middle-aged, and older males, respectively. After further adjustment for body mass index (BMI), the negative associations of HDL-C with BP and hypertension in the whole cohort became positive ones, and the positive associations only presented in males. These findings suggest that further adjustment for BMI changes inverse associations of HDL-cholesterol with BP and hypertension to positive associations in a cohort of Chinese adults.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41371-021-00548-xDOI Listing
May 2021

Effect of body stiffness distribution on larval fish-like efficient undulatory swimming.

Sci Adv 2021 May 5;7(19). Epub 2021 May 5.

Physical Intelligence Department, Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems, 70569 Stuttgart, Germany.

Energy-efficient propulsion is a critical design target for robotic swimmers. Although previous studies have pointed out the importance of nonuniform body bending stiffness distribution () in improving the undulatory swimming efficiency of adult fish-like robots in the inertial flow regime, whether such an elastic mechanism is beneficial in the intermediate flow regime remains elusive. Hence, we develop a class of untethered soft milliswimmers consisting of a magnetic composite head and a passive elastic body with different These robots realize larval zebrafish-like undulatory swimming at the same scale. Investigations reveal that uniform and high swimming frequency (60 to 100 Hz) are favorable to improve their efficiency. A shape memory polymer-based milliswimmer with tunable on the fly confirms such findings. Such acquired knowledge can guide the design of energy-efficient leading edge-driven soft undulatory milliswimmers for future environmental and biomedical applications in the same flow regime.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/sciadv.abf7364DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8099186PMC
May 2021

Ultrasound-Guided Wireless Tubular Robotic Anchoring System.

IEEE Robot Autom Lett 2020 Jul 19;5(3):4859-4866. Epub 2020 Jun 19.

Physical Intelligence Department, Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems, 70569 Stuttgart, Germany, with the Department of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering, ETH Zurich, 8092 Zurich, Switzerland, and also with the School of Engineering and School of Medicine, Koc University, Istanbul 34450, Turkey.

Untethered miniature robots have significant poten-tial and promise in diverse minimally invasive medical applications inside the human body. For drug delivery and physical contra-ception applications inside tubular structures, it is desirable to have a miniature anchoring robot with self-locking mechanism at a target tubular region. Moreover, the behavior of this robot should be tracked and feedback-controlled by a medical imaging-based system. While such a system is unavailable, we report a reversible untethered anchoring robot design based on remote magnetic actuation. The current robot prototype's dimension is 7.5 mm in diameter, 17.8 mm in length, and made of soft polyurethane elastomer, photopolymer, and two tiny permanent magnets. Its relaxation and anchoring states can be maintained in a stable manner without supplying any control and actuation input. To control the robot's locomotion, we implement a two-dimensional (2D) ultrasound imaging-based tracking and control system, which automatically sweeps locally and updates the robot's position. With such a system, we demonstrate that the robot can be controlled to follow a pre-defined 1D path with the maximal position error of 0.53 ± 0.05 mm inside a tubular phantom, where the reversible anchoring could be achieved under the monitoring of ultrasound imaging.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1109/LRA.2020.3003868DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7610639PMC
July 2020

Multifunctional magnetic soft composites: a review.

Multifunct Mater 2020 Dec 8;3(4):042003. Epub 2020 Dec 8.

Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210, United States of America.

Magnetically responsive soft materials are soft composites where magnetic fillers are embedded into soft polymeric matrices. These active materials have attracted extensive research and industrial interest due to their ability to realize fast and programmable shape changes through remote and untethered control under the application of magnetic fields. They would have many high-impact potential applications in soft robotics/devices, metamaterials, and biomedical devices. With a broad range of functional magnetic fillers, polymeric matrices, and advanced fabrication techniques, the material properties can be programmed for integrated functions, including programmable shape morphing, dynamic shape deformation-based locomotion, object manipulation and assembly, remote heat generation, as well as reconfigurable electronics. In this review, an overview of state-of-the-art developments and future perspectives in the multifunctional magnetically responsive soft materials is presented.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1088/2399-7532/abcb0cDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7610551PMC
December 2020

Comparative analysis of genomes reveals oomycete pathogenesis in crops.

Heliyon 2021 Feb 23;7(2):e06317. Epub 2021 Feb 23.

Animal & Plant Inspection and Quarantine Technology Center of Shenzhen Customs District P.R. China, Shenzhen 518045, China.

The oomycete genus includes devastating plant pathogens that are found in almost all ecosystems. We sequenced the genomes of two quarantined species- and . Comparing these species and related genera allowed reconstruction of the phylogenetic relationships within the genus and revealed genomic features associated with infection and pathogenicity. We found that several hundred genes are putatively inherited from red algae, but does not have vestigial plastids originating from phototrophs. The horizontally-transferred genes are abundant transposons that "transmit" exogenous gene to species thus bring about the gene recombination possibility. Several expansion events of gene families associated with cell wall biogenesis can be used as mutational targets to elucidate gene function in pathogenic interactions with host plants. This work enhanced the understanding of evolution and will also be helpful for the design of phytopathological control strategies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.heliyon.2021.e06317DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7907477PMC
February 2021

Liquid Crystal Elastomer-Based Magnetic Composite Films for Reconfigurable Shape-Morphing Soft Miniature Machines.

Adv Mater 2021 Feb 14;33(8):e2006191. Epub 2021 Jan 14.

Physical Intelligence Department, Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems, Stuttgart, 70569, Germany.

Stimuli-responsive and active materials promise radical advances for many applications. In particular, soft magnetic materials offer precise, fast, and wireless actuation together with versatile functionality, while liquid crystal elastomers (LCEs) are capable of large reversible and programmable shape-morphing with high work densities in response to various environmental stimuli, e.g., temperature, light, and chemical solutions. Integrating the orthogonal stimuli-responsiveness of these two kinds of active materials could potentially enable new functionalities and future applications. Here, magnetic microparticles (MMPs) are embedded into an LCE film to take the respective advantages of both materials without compromising their independent stimuli-responsiveness. This composite material enables reconfigurable magnetic soft miniature machines that can self-adapt to a changing environment. In particular, a miniature soft robot that can autonomously alter its locomotion mode when it moves from air to hot liquid, a vine-like filament that can sense and twine around a support, and a light-switchable magnetic spring are demonstrated. The integration of LCEs and MMPs into monolithic structures introduces a new dimension in the design of soft machines and thus greatly enhances their use in applications in complex environments, especially for miniature soft robots, which are self-adaptable to environmental changes while being remotely controllable.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/adma.202006191DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7610459PMC
February 2021

Reduced renal function may explain the higher prevalence of hyperuricemia in older people.

Sci Rep 2021 Jan 14;11(1):1302. Epub 2021 Jan 14.

Department of Gerontology, The First Affiliated Hospital of Shandong First Medical University, 16766 Jingshi Road, Jinan, 250014, Shandong Province, China.

This study aimed to investigate the contribution of renal dysfunction to enhanced hyperuricemia prevalence in older people. A cohort of 13,288 Chinese people aged between 40 and 95 years were recruited from January to May 2019. Serum uric acid concentration and estimated glomerular filtration rate [eGFR] were measured. The associations between age or eGFR and serum uric acid or hyperuricemia were analyzed using linear or binary logistic regression adjusting for risk factors. Uric acid concentration and prevalence of hyperuricemia were greater in older participants. Adjustment for reduced renal function (eGFR < 60 mL/min/1.73 m) eliminated the associations between older age and higher uric acid concentration and between older age and higher prevalence of hyperuricemia diagnosis, whereas adjustment for other risk factors did not change those associations. Lower eGFR was associated with higher uric acid concentration both before (β = - 0.296, P < 0.001) and after adjustment for age (β = - 0.313, P < 0.001). Reduced renal function was associated with hyperuricemia diagnosis both before (odds ratio, OR, 3.64; 95% CI 3.10-4.28; P < 0.001) and after adjustment for age (adjusted OR, 3.82; 95% CI 3.22-4.54; P < 0.001). Mean serum uric acid and prevalence of hyperuricemia were higher in people with eGFR < 60 mL/min/1.73 m than those with eGFR ≥ 60 mL/min/1.73 m. The prevalence of reduced renal function increased with older age (P < 0.001). This study suggests that reduced renal function can explain the increased uric acid levels and hyperuricemia diagnoses in older people.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-80250-zDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7809022PMC
January 2021

Hyperuricemia is independently associated with hypertension in men under 60 years in a general Chinese population.

J Hum Hypertens 2020 Dec 14. Epub 2020 Dec 14.

Department of Gerontology, The First Affiliated Hospital of Shandong First Medical University, Jinan, Shandong Province, China.

Hyperuricemia has been associated with hypertension, however, whether this association exists across all decades of adult life is unknown. This study aimed to assess the association between hyperuricemia and hypertension in relation to age. This retrospective cross-sectional study included a total of 22,556 adult Chinese people who attended Health Physical Examination in a Chinese hospital. Participants were aged between 18 and 95 years (mean [standard deviation], 45.4 [14.0]). Serum uric acid levels and blood pressure were measured. Associations between serum uric acid and blood pressure, and between hyperuricemia and hypertension diagnosis were analyzed using linear or logistic regression, adjusting for confounding risk factors including age, sex, total cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and fasting blood glucose. Sub-analysis was stratified by age and sex. Before adjustment, high serum uric acid was associated with higher systolic blood pressure (β = 0.214, P < 0.001) and higher diastolic blood pressure (β = 0.271, P < 0.001). Hyperuricemia was associated with hypertension diagnosis (OR, 1.763; 95% CI, 1.635-1.901; P < 0.001) in an unadjusted analysis. These findings remained significant after adjusting for confounding factors. Sub-analysis suggested that the association between uric acid and blood pressure was weaker in older age groups and the association between hyperuricemia and hypertension was limited to people under 60 years. Hyperuricemia was independently associated with hypertension diagnosis in men but not in women, and the independent association between hyperuricemia and hypertension only presented in men under 60 years. This study suggests that hyperuricemia is independently associated with hypertension in Chinese men under 60 years.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41371-020-00455-7DOI Listing
December 2020

Bioinspired cilia arrays with programmable nonreciprocal motion and metachronal coordination.

Sci Adv 2020 Nov 6;6(45). Epub 2020 Nov 6.

Physical Intelligence Department, Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems, Stuttgart, Germany.

Coordinated nonreciprocal dynamics in biological cilia is essential to many living systems, where the emergentmetachronal waves of cilia have been hypothesized to enhance net fluid flows at low Reynolds numbers (). Experimental investigation of this hypothesis is critical but remains challenging. Here, we report soft miniature devices with both ciliary nonreciprocal motion and metachronal coordination and use them to investigate the quantitative relationship between metachronal coordination and the induced fluid flow. We found that only antiplectic metachronal waves with specific wave vectors could enhance fluid flows compared with the synchronized case. These findings further enable various bioinspired cilia arrays with unique functionalities of pumping and mixing viscous synthetic and biological complex fluids at low Our design method and developed soft miniature devices provide unprecedented opportunities for studying ciliary biomechanics and creating cilia-inspired wireless microfluidic pumping, object manipulation and lab- and organ-on-a-chip devices, mobile microrobots, and bioengineering systems.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/sciadv.abc9323DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7673722PMC
November 2020

Sphingosine kinase 2 inhibitor ABC294640 suppresses neuronal excitability and inhibits multiple endogenously and exogenously expressed voltage-gated ion channels in cultured cells.

Channels (Austin) 2020 12;14(1):216-230

Division of Molecular Medicine, Hefei National Laboratory for Physical Sciences at Microscale, CAS Key Laboratory of Innate Immunity and Chronic Disease, Neurodegenerative Disorder Research Center, School of Life Sciences, University of Science and Technology of China , Hefei, Anhui, China.

Sphingolipids regulate multiple cellular processes, including proliferation, autophagy, and apoptosis. Sphingosine kinases, the key enzymes in the metabolism of sphingolipids, are overexpressed in many cancers, making them important targets for the development of antitumor drugs. ABC294640 is a selective sphingosine kinase 2 (SK2) inhibitor that shows good antitumor activity in vitro. One phase I clinical study of ABC294640 reported that ABC294640 caused a variety of neurological disorders. The mechanism of these phenomena, however, remains unclear. In the present study, we used in vitro cell experiments to test the effects of ABC294640 on the nervous system. We found that ABC294640 suppressed the firing of action potentials in cultured hippocampal neurons from neonatal mice and inhibited endogenous sodium, potassium, and calcium currents in both cultured neurons and SH-SY5Y cells. In addition, we tested four types of human voltage-gated potassium channels transiently expressed in HEK293T cells. All were inhibited by ABC294640, of which K4.2 and K1.4 were more sensitive than BK and K2P2.1. The effect of ABC294640 on ion channels was different from another SK2 inhibitor K145 and was not affected by S1P. The fast onset and recovery of the inhibition indicated that ABC294640 was likely to inhibit ion channels by acting directly on channel proteins, rather than by inhibiting SK2. These results revealed the mechanism by which ABC294640 interferes with the nervous system. To develop future antitumor drugs, researchers should modify the structure of ABC294640 to avoid its effects on ion channels or should develop compounds that target SK2 or downstream molecules.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/19336950.2020.1788364DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7515484PMC
December 2020

Circulating asprosin levels are increased in patients with type 2 diabetes and associated with early-stage diabetic kidney disease.

Int Urol Nephrol 2020 Aug 26;52(8):1517-1522. Epub 2020 May 26.

Health Management Center, Shandong Provincial Qianfoshan Hospital, The First Affiliated Hospital of Shandong First Medical University, Jinan, 250012, Shandong, China.

Purpose: Asprosin was a newly identified secreted hormone which could induce hepatic glucose release. Since asprosin closely associated with the risk factors of diabetic kidney disease (DKD), including hyperglycemia, insulin resistance and inflammation, the present study aimed to investigate the relationship between circulating asprosin levels and the early stage of DKD.

Methods: 30 subjects with normal glucose tolerance (NGT), 42 type 2 diabetes (T2DM) patients without DKD and 33 T2DM patients with early stage of DKD were recruited. Early stage of DKD was defined as two consecutive measurements of urinary albumin-to-creatinine ratio (UACR) 30-299 mg/g and estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) ≥ 60 mL/min/1.73m. Multiple linear regression analysis was conducted to explore the associations of circulating asprosin levels with eGFR and UACR. Multiple logistic regression analysis was used to determine the association of circulating asprosin levels with the early stage of DKD.

Results: Circulating asprosin levels in Non-DKD and DKD groups were significantly higher than that in NGT group and the DKD group showed the highest levels. Circulating asprosin levels negatively correlated with eGFR (r = - 0.311, P = 0.007) and positively correlated with UACR (r = 0.345, P = 0.002) in T2DM patients. Even after multivariable adjustment, circulating asprosin levels were closely associated with eGFR and UACR and significantly increased ORs for early stage of DKD (OR = 3.973, P = 0.001).

Conclusion: Circulating asprosin levels were increased in T2DM and associated with the early stage of DKD. The specific role of asprosin in DKD needs further investigation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11255-020-02509-8DOI Listing
August 2020

Folic Acid Supplement Use and Increased Risk of Gestational Hypertension.

Hypertension 2020 07 11;76(1):150-156. Epub 2020 May 11.

From the Department of Nutrition and Food Hygiene, Hubei Key Laboratory of Food Nutrition and Safety, MOE Key Laboratory of Environment and Health, School of Public Health, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, P.R. China (Q.L., S.X., X. Chen, X. Zhang, X.L., L.L., D.G., M.W., S.Y., X. Cao, T.T., W.H., J.G., L. Huang, R.C., X. Zhou, W.C., T.X., Q.G., Y.W., M.H., X.W., G.Z., Y.Z., C.Z., X.Y., L. Hao, Nianhong Yang).

Current results regarding the effect of folic acid (FA) supplement use on gestational hypertension (GH) and preeclampsia are limited and inconsistent. We aimed to investigate whether FA supplement use was associated with GH and preeclampsia. Participants from the Tongji Maternal and Child Health Cohort with information on periconceptional FA supplement use and diagnosis of GH/preeclampsia were included (n=4853). Robust Poisson regression was used to assess the association of FA supplement use and GH and preeclampsia. Among the 4853 participants in this study, 1161 (23.9%) and 161 (3.3%) women were diagnosed with GH and preeclampsia, respectively. The risk ratio of developing GH was higher in women who used ≥800 µg/d FA supplement from prepregnancy through midpregnancy than nonusers (risk ratio, 1.33 [1.08-1.65]). After adjusting for social-demographic, reproductive, lifestyle factors, family history of hypertension, other supplement use, and gestational weight gain, the adverse association remained significant (risk ratio, 1.32 [1.06-1.64]). Restricting the analysis among women with normal weight, without family history of hypertension, and without gestational diabetes mellitus, the positive FA-GH association still existed. We did not find any significant association between FA supplement use and preeclampsia regardless of adjustment. High-dose (≥800 µg/d) FA supplement use from prepregnancy through midpregnancy was associated with increased risk of GH. Attention should be given to avoid the potential risk of GH due to inappropriate FA supplement use in women who are planning or capable of pregnancy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1161/HYPERTENSIONAHA.119.14621DOI Listing
July 2020

The effect of temperature on childhood hand, foot and mouth disease in Guangdong Province, China, 2010-2013: a multicity study.

BMC Infect Dis 2019 Nov 12;19(1):969. Epub 2019 Nov 12.

Department of Epidemiology, School of Public Health, Shandong University, 44 West Wenhua Road, Jinan, Shandong, 250012, People's Republic of China.

Background: Hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) is a serious infectious disease, which has become a public health problem. Previous studies have shown that temperature may influence the incidence of HFMD, but most only focus on single city and the results are highly heterogeneous. Therefore, a multicity study was conducted to explore the association between temperature and HFMD in different cities and search for modifiers that influence the heterogeneity.

Methods: We collected daily cases of childhood HFMD (aged 0-5 years) and meteorological factors of 21 cities in Guangdong Province in the period of 2010-2013. Distributed lag non-linear model (DLNM) with quasi-Poisson was adopted to quantify the effects of temperature on HFMD in 21 cities. Then the effects of each city were pooled by multivariate meta-analysis to obtain the heterogeneity among 21 cities. Potential city-level factors were included in meta-regression to explore effect modifiers.

Results: A total of 1,048,574 childhood cases were included in this study. There was a great correlation between daily childhood HFMD cases and temperature in each city, which was non-linear and lagged. High heterogeneity was showed in the associations between temperature and HFMD in 21 cities. The pooled temperature-HFMD association was peaking at the 79th percentile of temperature with relative risk (RR) of 2.474(95% CI: 2.065-2.965) as compared to the median temperature. Latitude was the main modifier for reducing the heterogeneity to 69.28% revealed by meta-analysis.

Conclusions: There was a strong non-linear and lagged correlation between temperature and HFMD. Latitude was strongly associated with the relationship between temperature and HFMD. Meanwhile, it had an effect on modifying the relationship. These findings can conducive to local governments developing corresponding preventive measures.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12879-019-4594-yDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6852944PMC
November 2019

Multi-functional soft-bodied jellyfish-like swimming.

Nat Commun 2019 07 2;10(1):2703. Epub 2019 Jul 2.

Physical Intelligence Department, Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems, 70569, Stuttgart, Germany.

The functionalities of the untethered miniature swimming robots significantly decrease as the robot size becomes smaller, due to limitations of feasible miniaturized on-board components. Here we propose an untethered jellyfish-inspired soft millirobot that could realize multiple functionalities in moderate Reynolds number by producing diverse controlled fluidic flows around its body using its magnetic composite elastomer lappets, which are actuated by an external oscillating magnetic field. We particularly investigate the interaction between the robot's soft body and incurred fluidic flows due to the robot's body motion, and utilize such physical interaction to achieve different predation-inspired object manipulation tasks. The proposed lappet kinematics can inspire other existing jellyfish-like robots to achieve similar functionalities at the same length and time scale. Moreover, the robotic platform could be used to study the impacts of the morphology and kinematics changing in ephyra jellyfish.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-019-10549-7DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6606650PMC
July 2019

Impacts of tropical cyclones and accompanying precipitation and wind velocity on childhood hand, foot and mouth disease in Guangdong Province, China.

Environ Res 2019 06 21;173:262-269. Epub 2019 Mar 21.

Department of Epidemiology, School of Public Health, Shandong University, 44 West Wenhua Road, Jinan, Shandong, 250012, PR China; Shandong University Climate Change and Health Center, 44 West Wenhua Road, Jinan, Shandong, 250012, PR China. Electronic address:

Objective: Guangdong province is one of the provinces most frequently hit by tropical cyclones in China. Hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) continues to severely affect public health across the world. Our study aimed to evaluate the impacts of different grades of tropical cyclones and accompanying precipitation and wind velocity on HFMD among children younger than 6 years old in Guangdong province from 2009 to 2013.

Methods: A time-stratified case-crossover design was used to examine the association between tropical cyclones and childhood HFMD. Principal component analysis (PCA) was first used to eliminate multicollinearity among meteorological variables. Conditional Poisson regression was then applied to calculate odds ratios (ORs) and the 95% confidence intervals (CIs).

Results: Tropical storms increased the risk of HFMD among children below 6 years of age on lag 4 days (OR = 1.55, 95%CI: 1.28-1.88). Tropical storms were also a risk factor for boys below 3 years of age, boys between 3 and 6 and girls below 3 years of age with the largest OR = 1.52 (95%CI:1.15-2.00), OR = 1.81 (95%CI = 1.21-2.71) and OR = 1.51 (95%CI = 1.04-2.19), respectively. Precipitation during tropical cyclones had an adverse effect on childhood HFMD when reaching 25-49.9 mm or above 100 mm with OR = 1.20 (95%CI = 1.00-1.43) on lag 0 day and OR = 1.25 (95%CI = 1.04-1.49) on lag 7 days, respectively. For extreme wind velocity during tropical cyclones, the impact on childhood HFMD was largest on the day tropical cyclones landed (OR = 1.25, 95%CI: 1.06-1.48) with winds up to 13.9-24.4  m/s.

Conclusions: Tropical storms can increase the risk of HFMD among children younger than 3 years old, especially boys between 3 and 6 years old. Precipitation during tropical cyclones is a risk factor for childhood HFMD when it is between 25 and 49.9 mm or above 100 mm. As extreme wind velocity reaches 13.9-24.4  m/s, it has an adverse effect on children's health. Children below 3 years old and boys between 3 and 6 should be given more consideration during tropical storms.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envres.2019.03.041DOI Listing
June 2019

Raman Spectroscopy of Two-Dimensional Borophene Sheets.

ACS Nano 2019 Apr 28;13(4):4133-4139. Epub 2019 Mar 28.

Institute of Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences , Beijing 100190 , China.

The successful fabrication of a two-dimensional boron sheet, which features a triangular lattice with periodic hole arrays, has stimulated great interest in its specific structure as well as properties such as possible superconductivity. Here, we report a study on the vibrational spectra and electron-phonon coupling (EPC) in monolayer boron sheets by in situ Raman and tip-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (TERS) at low temperature and ultrahigh vacuum. The gap-mode TERS gives a 3 × 10 selective enhancement on vertical vibrational Raman modes. A spatial resolution of 1 nm is achieved in this system. Combined with first-principle calculations, the vibrational properties as well as EPC in borophene are determined. The results are helpful for further study on the mechanical, electronic, and possible superconducting properties of two-dimensional boron.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acsnano.8b08909DOI Listing
April 2019

Impact of heatwaves on daily outpatient visits of respiratory disease: A time-stratified case-crossover study.

Environ Res 2019 02 3;169:196-205. Epub 2018 Nov 3.

Department of Epidemiology, School of Public Health, Shandong University, 44 West Wenhua Road, Jinan, Shandong 250012, PR China; Shandong University Climate Change and Health Center, 44 West Wenhua Road, Jinan, Shandong 250012, PR China. Electronic address:

Objectives: This study aims to estimate the impact of heatwaves from July 2010 to October 2012 on daily outpatient visits for respiratory disease (RD) in Cangnan, China and identify vulnerable populations.

Methods: The definition of heatwave was a period at least 3 consecutive days with maximum temperature exceeding 35 °C in this study. A time-stratified case-crossover design was conducted to examine the relationship between heatwaves and outpatient visits for RD. Patient data for the period from 2010 to 2012 were collected from the Third People's Hospital of Cangnan and daily meteorological data for the same period were collected from the China Meteorological Data Service Center. Data regarding the air pollution index (API), a composite indicator of air pollution, were collected from the Data Center of the Chinese Ministry of Environmental Protection. RD were identified based on the 10th revision International Classification of Diseases (ICD-10) codes (J00-J99). A conditional Poisson regression model was applied to examine the heatwave-RD association using the Relative Risk (RR) while adjusting for meteorological and air pollution factors including temperature, rainfall, wind speed, pressure, humidity, sunshine hours and API.

Results: During the study period, 4 heatwaves occurred and a total of 1732 outpatient visits for RD were reported. Heatwaves increased the frequency of RD outpatient visits and the highest RR of total RD was 1.155% and 95% Confidence Intervals (95% CI) was 1.084-1.232 at Lag 0. For subcategories, heatwaves increased the risk of infectious RD (Lag 0: RR =1.182, 95% CI: 1.106-1.263) and decreased the risk of non-infectious RD ((Lag 6: RR =0.750, 95% CI: 0.568-0.990). Moreover, heatwaves showed adverse effects on acute upper respiratory infection (Lag 0: RR =1.306, 95% CI: 1.177-1.450). The RR of outpatient visits for RD was statistically significant in females (Lag 0: RR =1.161, 95% CI: 1.046-1.298), males (Lag 4: RR =1.161, 95% CI: 1.096-1.261), young people aged 4-17 years (Lag 0: RR =1.741, 95% CI: 1.524-1.990) and elders aged 65 years or older (Lag 5: RR =1.412, 95% CI: 1.111-1.794) during heatwaves.

Conclusions: Heatwaves had a significant harmful impact on daily outpatient visits for RD in Cangnan, especially for vulnerable population identified. These results can be used not only to strengthen the health education and protection of these vulnerable populations, but also to assist relevant organizations with developing intervention programmes and improving disease prevention and community care.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envres.2018.10.034DOI Listing
February 2019

Meteorological factors and the incidence of mumps in Fujian Province, China, 2005-2013: Non-linear effects.

Sci Total Environ 2018 Apr 22;619-620:1286-1298. Epub 2017 Nov 22.

School of Public Health, The University of Adelaide, Level 8, Hughes Building, North Terrace Campus, Adelaide, SA 5005, Australia. Electronic address:

Background: Mumps is still an important public health issue in the world with several recent outbreaks. The seasonable distribution of the disease suggested that meteorological factors may influence the incidence of mumps. The aim of this study was to explore the possible association between meteorological factors and the incidence of mumps, and to provide scientific evidence to relevant health authorities for the disease control and prevention.

Methods: We obtained the data of mumps cases and daily meteorological factors in Fujian Province in Eastern China over the period of 2005-2013. Using distributed lag non-linear model (DLNM) approach, we assessed the relationship between the meteorological factors and mumps incidence.

Results: The effects of meteorological factors on the mumps incidence were all non-linear. Compared with the lowest risk values, the upper level of precipitation, atmospheric pressure and relative humidity could increase the risk of mumps, whereas the low level of wind velocity, temperature, diurnal temperature range and sunshine duration may also increase the risk. Moderate atmospheric pressure and low wind velocity had larger cumulative effects within 30lagdays and the relative risks were 10.02 (95%CI: 2.47-40.71) and 12.45 (95%CI: 1.40-110.78). For temperature, the cumulative effect within 30lagdays of minimum temperature was higher than that from maximum temperature in most populations. The cumulative effects of minimum temperature for males, children aged 10-14 and students were higher than those in other populations.

Conclusions: Meteorological factors, especially temperature and wind velocity, should be taken into consideration in the prevention and warning of possible mumps epidemic. Special attention should be paid to the vulnerable populations, such as teenagers and young adults.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2017.11.108DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7112015PMC
April 2018

The Pentagonal Nature of Self-Assembled Silicon Chains and Magic Clusters on Ag(110).

Nano Lett 2018 05 4;18(5):2937-2942. Epub 2018 Apr 4.

Institute of Physics , Chinese Academy of Sciences , Beijing 100190 , China.

The atomic structures of self-assembled silicon nanoribbons and magic clusters on Ag(110) substrate have been studied by high-resolution noncontact atomic force microscopy (nc-AFM) and tip-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (TERS). Pentagon-ring structures in Si nanoribbons and clusters have been directly visualized. Moreover, the vibrational fingerprints of individual Si nanoribbon and cluster retrieved by subnanometer resolution TERS confirm the pentagonal nature of both Si nanoribbons and clusters. This work demonstrates that Si pentagon can be an important element in building silicon nanostructures, which may find important applications for future nanoelectronic devices based on silicon.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.nanolett.8b00289DOI Listing
May 2018

Incorporating Longitudinal Comorbidity and Acute Physiology Data in Template Matching for Assessing Hospital Quality: An Exploratory Study in an Integrated Health Care Delivery System.

Med Care 2018 05;56(5):448-454

Division of Research, Kaiser Permanente Northern California, Oakland, CA.

Objective: We sought to build on the template-matching methodology by incorporating longitudinal comorbidities and acute physiology to audit hospital quality.

Study Setting: Patients admitted for sepsis and pneumonia, congestive heart failure, hip fracture, and cancer between January 2010 and November 2011 at 18 Kaiser Permanente Northern California hospitals.

Study Design: We generated a representative template of 250 patients in 4 diagnosis groups. We then matched between 1 and 5 patients at each hospital to this template using varying levels of patient information.

Data Collection: Data were collected retrospectively from inpatient and outpatient electronic records.

Principal Findings: Matching on both present-on-admission comorbidity history and physiological data significantly reduced the variation across hospitals in patient severity of illness levels compared with matching on administrative data only. After adjustment for longitudinal comorbidity and acute physiology, hospital rankings on 30-day mortality and estimates of length of stay were statistically different from rankings based on administrative data.

Conclusions: Template matching-based approaches to hospital quality assessment can be enhanced using more granular electronic medical record data.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/MLR.0000000000000891DOI Listing
May 2018

Small-scale soft-bodied robot with multimodal locomotion.

Nature 2018 02 24;554(7690):81-85. Epub 2018 Jan 24.

Physical Intelligence Department, Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems, 70569 Stuttgart, Germany.

Untethered small-scale (from several millimetres down to a few micrometres in all dimensions) robots that can non-invasively access confined, enclosed spaces may enable applications in microfactories such as the construction of tissue scaffolds by robotic assembly, in bioengineering such as single-cell manipulation and biosensing, and in healthcare such as targeted drug delivery and minimally invasive surgery. Existing small-scale robots, however, have very limited mobility because they are unable to negotiate obstacles and changes in texture or material in unstructured environments. Of these small-scale robots, soft robots have greater potential to realize high mobility via multimodal locomotion, because such machines have higher degrees of freedom than their rigid counterparts. Here we demonstrate magneto-elastic soft millimetre-scale robots that can swim inside and on the surface of liquids, climb liquid menisci, roll and walk on solid surfaces, jump over obstacles, and crawl within narrow tunnels. These robots can transit reversibly between different liquid and solid terrains, as well as switch between locomotive modes. They can additionally execute pick-and-place and cargo-release tasks. We also present theoretical models to explain how the robots move. Like the large-scale robots that can be used to study locomotion, these soft small-scale robots could be used to study soft-bodied locomotion produced by small organisms.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nature25443DOI Listing
February 2018

Localized Single-Cell Lysis and Manipulation Using Optothermally-Induced Bubbles.

Micromachines (Basel) 2017 Apr 11;8(4). Epub 2017 Apr 11.

Department of Electrical Engineering, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Honolulu, HI 96822, USA.

Localized single cells can be lysed precisely and selectively using microbubbles optothermally generated by microsecond laser pulses. The shear stress from the microstreaming surrounding laser-induced microbubbles and direct contact with the surface of expanding bubbles cause the rupture of targeted cell membranes. High-resolution single-cell lysis is demonstrated: cells adjacent to targeted cells are not lysed. It is also shown that only a portion of the cell membrane can be punctured using this method. Both suspension and adherent cell types can be lysed in this system, and cell manipulation can be integrated for cell-cell interaction studies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/mi8040121DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5766267PMC
April 2017

Awareness of and willingness to be vaccinated by human papillomavirus vaccine among junior middle school students in Jinan, China.

Hum Vaccin Immunother 2018 02 1;14(2):404-411. Epub 2017 Dec 1.

a Department of Epidemiology , School of Public Health, Shandong University , Jinan , China.

Background: Willingness to be vaccinated with human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine among junior middle school students in China is not well understood. We conducted a cross-sectional study to assess awareness of HPV and the HPV vaccine and explore the factors associated with willingness to be vaccinated.

Methods: First-year students from two junior middle schools in Jinan, China were selected by cluster sampling on December 28, 2015, December 26, 2016, and January 11, 2017, and a self-administered questionnaire was used to collect information. Multivariate logistic regression was conducted to explore the factors associated with willingness to be vaccinated with the HPV vaccine.

Results: A total of 1021 junior middle school students participated in this survey. Only 15.5% of them had heard of HPV and 18.9% of them had heard of the HPV vaccine. Students who were willing to take the HPV vaccine in the future accounted for 66.9%. Factors associated with the HPV vaccination were: urban junior middle school students (AOR: 1.51, 95% CI: 1.09-2.09), female students (AOR: 1.90, 95% CI: 1.36-2.66), students surveyed in 2015 (AOR: 1.69, 95% CI: 1.26-2.28), regarding menstruation/spermatorrhoea as a normal physiological phenomenon (AOR: 1.64, 95% CI: 1.14-2.36), believing vaccination is an important way to prevent diseases (AOR: 1.36, 95% CI: 1.01-1.83), believing that the first vaccination should be in infancy (AOR: 1.41, 95% CI: 1.04-1.92), believing that cervical cancer is a concern for themselves (AOR: 1.95, 95% CI: 1.28-2.97), and having heard of HPV (AOR: 1.84, 95% CI: 1.13-2.98).

Conclusions: Awareness of HPV and the HPV vaccine among junior students was low, however willingness to be vaccinated was high. Education focusing on HPV-related knowledge in addition to sex education is needed to promote the coverage of the HPV vaccine.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/21645515.2017.1393132DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5806637PMC
February 2018

Editorial for the Special Issue on Microdevices and Microsystems for Cell Manipulation.

Micromachines (Basel) 2017 Sep 12;8(9). Epub 2017 Sep 12.

Department of Electrical Engineering, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Honolulu, HI 96822, USA.

Microfabricated devices and systems capable of micromanipulation are well-suited for the manipulation of cells.[...].
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/mi8090276DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6190271PMC
September 2017

Condom use peer norms and self-efficacy as mediators between community engagement and condom use among Chinese men who have sex with men.

BMC Public Health 2017 08 7;17(1):641. Epub 2017 Aug 7.

Department of Epidemiology, School of Public Health, Shandong University, 44 West Wenhua Road Shandong Province, Jinan, 250012, China.

Background: Community engagement strategies are often integrated in public health interventions designed to promote condom use among men who have sex with men (MSM), a key population for HIV prevention. However, the ways in which condom use peer norms and self-efficacy play a role in the association between community engagement and condom use is unclear. This study examines the potential mediating roles of peer norms and self-efficacy in this association.

Methods: A nationwide cross-sectional online survey was conducted among Chinese MSM in 2015. Recruitment criteria included being born biologically male, being older than 16 years, having had anal sex with a man at least once during their lifetime, and having had condomless anal or vaginal sex in the past three months. Mplus 6.11 was used to conduct confirmatory factor analysis and path modeling analysis to examine the structural relationships between HIV/sexual health community engagement (e.g., joining social media and community events related to HIV and sexual health services), condom use peer norms, condom use self-efficacy, and frequency of condom use.

Results: The study found that HIV/sexual health community engagement, condom use peer norms, condom use self-efficacy, and frequency of condom use were mutually correlated. A good data model was achieved with fit index: CFI = 0.988, TLI = 0.987, RMSEA = 0.032, 90% CI (0.028, 0.036). HIV/sexual health community engagement was associated with frequency of condom use, which was directly mediated by condom use peer norms and indirectly through self-efficacy.

Conclusion: The study suggests that condom use peer norms and self-efficacy may be mediators in the pathway between community engagement and condom use, and suggests the importance of peer-based interventions to improve condom use.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12889-017-4662-4DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5545844PMC
August 2017

Shape-programmable magnetic soft matter.

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2016 10 26;113(41):E6007-E6015. Epub 2016 Sep 26.

Physical Intelligence Department, Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems, 70569 Stuttgart, Germany; Department of Mechanical Engineering, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA 15213;

Shape-programmable matter is a class of active materials whose geometry can be controlled to potentially achieve mechanical functionalities beyond those of traditional machines. Among these materials, magnetically actuated matter is particularly promising for achieving complex time-varying shapes at small scale (overall dimensions smaller than 1 cm). However, previous work can only program these materials for limited applications, as they rely solely on human intuition to approximate the required magnetization profile and actuating magnetic fields for their materials. Here, we propose a universal programming methodology that can automatically generate the required magnetization profile and actuating fields for soft matter to achieve new time-varying shapes. The universality of the proposed method can therefore inspire a vast number of miniature soft devices that are critical in robotics, smart engineering surfaces and materials, and biomedical devices. Our proposed method includes theoretical formulations, computational strategies, and fabrication procedures for programming magnetic soft matter. The presented theory and computational method are universal for programming 2D or 3D time-varying shapes, whereas the fabrication technique is generic only for creating planar beams. Based on the proposed programming method, we created a jellyfish-like robot, a spermatozoid-like undulating swimmer, and an artificial cilium that could mimic the complex beating patterns of its biological counterpart.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1608193113DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5068264PMC
October 2016

Interactive actuation of multiple opto-thermocapillary flow-addressed bubble microrobots.

Robotics Biomim 2014 Dec;1(1):14

Department of Electrical Engineering, University of Hawaii at Manoa, 2540 Dole Street, Holmes Hall 483, Honolulu, HI 96822, USA.

Opto-thermocapillary flow-addressed bubble (OFB) microrobots are a potential tool for the efficient transportation of micro-objects. This microrobot system uses light patterns to generate thermal gradients within a liquid medium, creating thermocapillary forces that actuate the bubble microrobots. An interactive control system that includes scanning mirrors and a touchscreen interface was developed to address up to ten OFB microrobots. Using this system, the parallel and cooperative transportation of 20-μm-diameter polystyrene beads was demonstrated.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s40638-014-0014-3DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4323085PMC
December 2014