PhD Dissertation Defense: Fatma Zeynep Temel
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  • PhD Dissertation Defense: Fatma Zeynep Temel

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Fatma Zeynep Temel
Mechatronics, PhD Dissertation, 2013 

Thesis Jury
Assoc. Prof. Serhat Yeşilyurt (Thesis Supervisor), Prof. Dr. İbrahim Tekin, Prof. Dr. Asıf Şabanoviç, Assoc. Dr. Ali Koşar, Prof. Dr. Ata Mugan

Date &Time: August,02nd, 2013 – 10:00

Place: FENS G032 

Keywords: swimming micro robots, bio-inspired medical robotics, magnetic actuation and navigation, hydrodynamic interactions, computational fluid dynamics (CFD), in-channel swimming, low Reynolds number swimming, creeping flows, micro-particle image velocimetry (micro-PIV)


Recent advances in micro- and nano-technology and manufacturing systems enabled the development of small (1μm – 1 mm in length) robots that can travel inside channels of the body such as veins, arteries, similar channels of the central nervous system and other conduits in the body, by means of external magnetic fields. Bio-inspired micro robots are promising tools for minimally invasive surgery, diagnosis, targeted drug delivery and material removal inside the human body. The motion of micro swimmers interacting with flow inside channels needs to be well understood in order to design and navigate micro robots for medical applications.

This thesis emphasizes the in-channel swimming behavior of robots with helical tails at low Reynolds number environment. Effects of swimming parameters, such as helical pitch, helical radius and the frequency of rotations as well as the effect of the radial position of the swimmer on swimming of the helical structures inside channels are analyzed by means of experiments and computational fluid dynamics (CFD) models using swimmers at different sizes. Micro particle image velocimetry (micro-PIV) experiments are performed to visualize the flow field in the cylindrical channel while micro robot has different angular velocities.

The effects of solid plane boundaries on the motion of the micro swimmers is studied by experiments and modeling studies using micro robots placed inside rectangular channels. Controlled navigation of micro robots inside fluid-filled channel networks is performed using two different motion mechanisms that are used for forward and lateral motion, and using  the strength, direction and frequency of the externally applied magnetic field as control inputs. Lastly, position of the magnetic swimmers is detected using Hall-effect sensors by measuring the magnetic field strength.