Coevolution of Myoelectric Hand Control under the Tactile Interaction among Fingers and Objects

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Journal profile

The Open Access journal Cyborg and Bionic Systems, published in association with BIT, promotes the knowledge interchange and hybrid system codesign between living beings and robotic systems.

Editorial board

Cyborg and Bionic Systems’ editorial board is led by Toshio Fukuda (Beijing Institute of Technology) and is comprised of experts who have made significant and well recognized contributions to the field.

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Research Article

POMDP-Based Real-Time Path Planning for Manipulation of Multiple Microparticles via Optoelectronic Tweezers

With high throughput and high flexibility, optoelectronic tweezers (OETs) hold huge potential for massively parallel micromanipulation. However, the trajectory of the virtual electrode has been planned in advance in most synchronous manipulations for multiple targets based on an optically induced dielectrophoresis (ODEP) mechanism, which is insufficient to ensure the stability and efficiency in an environment with potential collision risk. In this paper, a synchronously discretized manipulation method based on a centralized and decoupled path planner is proposed for transporting microparticles of different types with an OET platform. An approach based on the Kuhn-Munkres algorithm is utilized to achieve the goal assignment between target microparticles and goal positions. With the assistance of a visual feedback module, a path planning approach based on the POMDP algorithm dynamically determines the motion strategies of the particle movement to avoid potential collisions. The geometrical parameters of the virtual electrodes are optimized for different types of particles with the goal of maximum transport speed. The experiments of micropatterning with different morphologies and transporting multiple microparticles (e.g., polystyrene microspheres and 3T3 cells) to goal positions are performed. These results demonstrate that the proposed manipulation method based on optoelectronic tweezers is effective for multicell transport and promises to be used in biomedical manipulation tasks with high flexibility and efficiency.

Review Article

A Systematic Review of the Use of Commercial Wearable Activity Trackers for Monitoring Recovery in Individuals Undergoing Total Hip Replacement Surgery

The innovation of wearable devices is advancing rapidly. Activity monitors can be used to improve the total hip replacement (THR) patients’ recovery process and reduce costs. This systematic review assessed the body-worn accelerometers used in studies to enhance the rehabilitation process and monitor THR patients. Electronic databases such as Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews library, CINAHL CompleteVR, Science Citation Index, and MedlineVR from January 2000 to January 2022 were searched. Due to inclusion criteria, fourteen eligible studies that utilised commercial wearable technology to monitor physical activity both before and after THR were identified. Their evidence quality was assessed with RoB 2.0 and ROBINS-I. This study demonstrates that wearable device technology might be feasible to predict, monitor, and detect physical activity following THR. They could be used as a motivational tool to increase patients’ mobility and enhance the recovery process. Also, wearable activity monitors could provide a better insight into the individual’s activity level in contrast to subjective self-reported questionnaires. However, they have some limitations, and further evidence is needed to establish this technology as the primary device in THR rehabilitation.

Research Article

Robust Control Strategy of Gradient Magnetic Drive for Microrobots Based on Extended State Observer

Microrobots have great application potential in the biomedical field, to realize the precision and efficiency of microrobots in vivo is research focus in this field. Microrobots are accompanied by various disturbances in complex environment. These disturbances will affect the motion control of microrobots, resulting in the inability of the micromanipulation tasks to be completed effectively. To this end, a robust motion control method is proposed for precise path tracking of microrobots in this paper. The extended state observer (ESO) is used to estimate the total disturbances and uncertainties of the system. A path tracking controller is designed by combining sliding mode control (SMC) and disturbances compensation, which is used to eliminate the total disturbances of the system and realize the fast and accurate path tracking of microrobots. Finally, the path tracking experiments are implemented in the gradient magnetic field drive system. The experimental results show that the mean absolute error of the path tracking for microrobots in a simulated vascular structure is less than 14 μm, and the root mean square error is less than 17 μm by using the robust control method proposed in this paper. Compared with the traditional PID control method, it can better suppress external disturbances and uncertainties of the system and improve the path tracking accuracy of microrobots effectively. It shows stronger anti-interference ability and robustness.

Review Article

Hydrogel-Based Stimuli-Responsive Micromotors for Biomedicine

The rapid development of medical micromotors draws a beautiful blueprint for the noninvasive or minimally invasive diagnosis and therapy. By combining stimuli-sensitive hydrogel materials, micromotors are bestowed with new characteristics such as stimuli-responsive shape transformation/morphing, excellent biocompatibility and biodegradability, and drug loading ability. Actuated by chemical fuels or external fields (e.g., magnetic field, ultrasound, light, and electric field), hydrogel-based stimuli-responsive (HBSR) micromotors can be utilized to load therapeutic agents into the hydrogel networks or directly grip the target cargos (e.g., drug-loaded particles, cells, and thrombus), transport them to sites of interest (e.g., tumor area and diseased tissues), and unload the cargos or execute a specific task (e.g., cell capture, targeted sampling, and removal of blood clots) in response to a stimulus (e.g., change of temperature, pH, ion strength, and chemicals) in the physiological environment. The high flexibility, adaptive capacity, and shape morphing property enable the HBSR micromotors to complete specific medical tasks in complex physiological scenarios, especially in confined, hard-to-reach tissues, and vessels of the body. Herein, this review summarizes the current progress in hydrogel-based medical micromotors with stimuli responsiveness. The thermo-responsive, photothermal-responsive, magnetocaloric-responsive, pH-responsive, ionic-strength-responsive, and chemoresponsive micromotors are discussed in detail. Finally, current challenges and future perspectives for the development of HBSR micromotors in the biomedical field are discussed.

Review Article

Advanced Robotics to Address the Translational Gap in Tendon Engineering

Tendon disease is a significant and growing burden to healthcare systems. One strategy to address this challenge is tissue engineering. A widely held view in this field is that mechanical stimulation provided to constructs should replicate the mechanical environment of native tissue as closely as possible. We review recent tendon tissue engineering studies in this article and highlight limitations of conventional uniaxial tensile bioreactors used in current literature. Advanced robotic platforms such as musculoskeletal humanoid robots and soft robotic actuators are promising technologies which may help address translational gaps in tendon tissue engineering. We suggest the proposed benefits of these technologies and identify recent studies which have worked to implement these technologies in tissue engineering. Lastly, key challenges to address in adapting these robotic technologies and proposed future research directions for tendon tissue engineering are discussed.

Research Article

Efficacy of Biological and Physical Enhancement on Targeted Muscle Reinnervation

Targeted muscle reinnervation (TMR) is a microsurgical repair technique to reconstruct the anatomical structure between the distal nerve and the muscle stump to provide more myoelectric information to the artificially intelligent prosthesis. Postoperative functional electrical stimulation treatment of the patient’s denervated muscle or proximal nerve stump as well as nerve growth factor injection is effective in promoting nerve regeneration and muscle function recovery. In this experiment, we successfully established a TMR rat model and divided Sprague-Dawley (SD) adult male rats into TMR group, TMR + FES group, and TMR + NGF group according to TMR and whether they received FES treatment or NGF injection after surgery, and the recovery effect of rat neuromuscular function was assessed by analyzing EMG signals. Through the experiments, we confirmed that growth factor supplementation and low-frequency electrical stimulation can effectively promote the regeneration of the transplanted nerve as well as significantly enhance the motor function of the target muscle and have a positive effect on the regeneration of the transplanted nerve.