As an important embodiment of biomanipulation, injection of foreign materials (e.g., DNA, RNAi, sperm, protein, and drug compounds) into individual cells has significant implications in genetics, transgenics, assisted reproduction, and drug discovery. This paper presents a microrobotic system for fully automated zebrafish embryo injection, which overcomes the problems inherent in manual operation, such as human fatigue and large variations in success rates due to poor reproducibility. Based on computer vision and motion control, the microrobotic system performs injection at a speed of 15 zebrafish embryos (chorion unremoved) per minute, with a survival rate of 98% (n = 350 embryos), a success rate of 99% (n = 350 embryos), and a phenotypic rate of 98.5% (n = 210 embryos). The sample immobilization technique and microrobotic control method are applicable to other biological injection applications such as the injection of mouse oocytes/embryos and Drosophila embryos to enable high-throughput biological and pharmaceutical research.
Chun K, Hashiguchi G, Toshiyoshi H, Fujita H, Kikuchi Y, et al. (1999) An array of hollow micro-capillaries for the controlled injection of genetic materials into animal/plant cells. Proc IEEE International Conference on Micro Electro Mechanical Systems (MEMS'1999): 406–411.
Kobayashi K, Kato K, Saga M, Yamane M, Rothman C, et al. (1992) Subzonal insemination of a single mouse spermatozoon with a personal computer-controlled micromanipulation system. Mol Reprod Dev 33: 81–88.
Pillarisetti A, Pekarev M, Brooks AD, Desai JP (2006) Evaluating the role of force feedback for biomanipulation tasks. Proc Symposium on Haptic Interfaces for Virtual Environment and Teleoperator Systems (HAPTICS'2006):