Ryan Shih

Development and Integration of MEMS Devices for Submerged Microrobotics: Swimming at the Microscale

Microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) are sub-millimeter structures that combine electrical and mechanical principles to produce novel sensors, actuators, and transducers for complicated tasks at the microscale. While most MEMS research focuses on devices operating in air, biomedical applications and the parallel growth of microfluidics have stimulated efforts towards MEMS operation in fluid, especially biological media. Previous work under this program examined devices in deionized water and demonstrated successful operation of an electrostatic actuator capable of generating high force density. This work extends upon those findings and focuses on designing more intricate mechanisms like motors and spring-loaded joints that can be driven in aqueous conditions by the actuators demonstrated previously. These mechanisms can then be utilized in complex integrated systems, such as a microrobot capable of entering the human body and performing medical procedures such as diagnostics, drug delivery, local tissue repair, and surgery.

Message to Sponsor

To the Rose Hills Foundation, I would like to express my utmost gratitude at providing the resources for me to carry out my research. This is an incredible opportunity and your support allows me to continue working in the fields I am most passionate about. This work has reinforced my own professional goals while continuing to explore other areas. Thank you so much for this opportunity.
  • Major: EECS/Bioengineering
  • Sponsor: Rose Hills Independent
  • Mentor: Kristofer Pister