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Magnetic Micro Manipulation Platform

The Magnetic Micro Manipulation Platform consists of a magnetic field generator and a control system. The magnetic field generator is composed by two orthogonal pairs of Helmholtz coils, which generate a uniform field, and two orthogonal pairs of Maxwell coils, which generate a uniform field gradient. The 2D workspace is 2 mm x 3.5 mm. The maximum magnetic field and gradient are 12 mT and 1.2 T/m, respectively, generated by currents in the range 0-2 A. The control system comprises a laptop, a joypad (SAITEK P580 Blue Rumble Pad), a camera (BASLER scA1390-17gc), a data acquisition board (NI DAQ USB-6259) and custom electronicsA custom electronics is avaiable and it is based on a closed loop op-amp configuration with a Darlington stage. The driving signals for the electronics are generated through the DAQ board by means of a software program developed in LabVIEW (National Instruments, Inc., USA). The magnetic fields and gradients are controlled by the user through the joypad interface. The GUI (graphical user interface) can be adapted in order to full-fill specific testing needs. At the same time, the camera for the 2D visualization of the workspace can be adapted depending on the type of microrobot which is under testing.

Key features:
  • Uniform magnetic field
  • Low currents for high magnetic fields
  • Independent control of magnetic fields and gradients
  • Intuitive, customized and user-friendly control and interface
  • Uniform magnetic field gradient
  • Workspace: 2 mm x 3.5 mm
Possible applications:
  • Generation of a uniform magnetic field gradient along 2 axis
  • Generation of a uniform magnetic field along 2 axis
  • Magnetic characterization of magnetic micro-objects
  • 2D manipulation of magnetic micro-objects
  • Magnetization of ferromagnetic microobjects

Technical specifications

Maximum magnetic field:12 mT
Workspace:2 mm x 3.5 mm
Maximum magnetic field gradient: 1.2 T/m

Access information

Corresponding infrastructureSchool of Advanced Studies Sant'Anna
The BioRobotics Institute

Viale Rinaldo Piaggio, 34
56025 Pontedera PI, Italy

Unit of accessWorking day

Additional information


Coronavirus pandemic

Dear TERRINet applicants and future users,

we sincerely hope that you are staying safe in these challenging times that we are facing at the moment. The current emergency due to the COVID-19 pandemic has deeply changed our lives. The recent and progressive lock-down forced us to reorganize our working routines in smart working modalities and to shut down the TERRINet infrastructures. Therefore, we regret to inform you that Trans-National Access has been suspended until further notice.

However, we would like to reassure you that we will keep evaluating the proposals submitted for Trans-National Access regularly. Indeed, despite access cannot be allowed for a while, the selected users will be queued and access will take over gradually as soon as the situation will allow it. We also inform you that a special application mechanism has been settled in TERRINet to mitigate the delays that will occur due to the COVID-19.

The Open Call no. 4 is currently open: we are accepting proposals under the new mechanism called "first come, first served". Proposals are directly forwarded to the evaluation panel as soon as they are submitted. Proposals submitted closer to the deadline will be dispatched after that. The deadline for the Open Call n.4 will be on May 31, 2020.

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TERRINet team