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Cartoon of microrobots at cell scale for biomedical applications
Robotic probes at the cell scale
José A. Plaza

The miniaturization of robotic tools and probes enables the fundamental study of mechanical properties of cells and tissues.

Science Robotics, 25 Jan 2023, Vol 8, Issue 74, DOI: 10.1126/scirobotics.adf9996

FDTD simulations of the near-field interaction between two identical nearly touching plasmonic NPs. Adv. Fun. Mat.
Soft Optomechanical Systems for Sensing, Modulation, and Actuation
Ferran Pujol-Vila, Pau Güell-Grau, Josep Nogués, Mar Alvarez, Borja Sepúlveda

Soft optomechanical systems have the ability to reversibly respond to optical and mechanical external stimuli by changing their own properties (e.g., shape, size, viscosity, stiffness, color or transmittance). These systems typically combine the optical properties of plasmonic, dielectric or carbon-based nanomaterials with the high elasticity and deformability of soft polymers, thus opening the path for the development of new mechanically tunable optical systems, sensors, and actuators for a wide range of applications. This review focuses on the recent progresses in soft optomechanical systems, which are here classified according to their applications and mechanisms of optomechanical response. The first part summarizes the soft optomechanical systems for mechanical sensing and optical modulation based on the variation of their optical response under external mechanical stimuli, thereby inducing mechanochromic or intensity modulation effects. The second part describes the soft optomechanical systems for the development of light induced mechanical actuators based on different actuation mechanisms, such as photothermal effects and phase transitions, among others. The final section provides a critical analysis of the main limitations of current soft optomechanical systems and the progress that is required for future devices.

Adv. Funct. Mater. 2023, DOI: 10.1002/adfm.202213109

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