Professor Peer Fischer heads the Micro Nano and Molecular Systems Lab at the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems, and he is a Professor of Physical Chemistry at the University of Stuttgart. Peer Fischer received a BSc. degree in Physics from Imperial College London and a Ph.D. from the University of Cambridge in 1999. He was a NATO (DAAD) Postdoctoral Fellow at Cornell University, before joining the Rowland Institute at Harvard. He held a Rowland Fellowship at Harvard and directed an interdisciplinary research lab for five years. In 2009 he received an Attract Award from the Fraunhofer Society, Germany. In 2011 he moved his labs to the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems in Stuttgart, and since 2013 he is a Professor at the University of Stuttgart. Peer Fischer won an ERC Grant as a consolidator in 2011 and in 2016 he won a World Technology Award. He received an ERC Advanced Grant in 2018. He is a member of the Max Planck – EPFL Center for Molecular Nanoscience and Technology, and the research network on Learning Systems with ETH Zürich. Peer Fischer is an Editorial Board Member of the journal Science Robotics and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry. Professor Fischer has broad research interests including 3d nanofabrication & assembly, micro- and nano-robotics, active matter, interaction of optical, electric, magnetic, and acoustic fields with matter at small length scales, and molecular systems engineering.
It is demanding to develop micro- and nanorobotic systems that can be actively propelled at small scales, let alone inside real organs or through real tissues, since, as it is generally not possible to translate actuation mechanisms and design-concepts from the macro- to the microscale. At this scale, there are no ready-made motors and no off-the-shelf parts. In this talk, I will present our progress in addressing some of these challenges and describe opportunities for new technologies. I will first describe how one can wirelessly power a multi-degree of freedom microrobotic arm with ultrasound and how this may facilitates minimally invasive endoscopic procedures. I will also describe how one can generate designer acoustic fields that facilitate the transmission of ultrasound fields through the human skull. A recent advance in the generation of complex ultrasound fields promises “one shot” assembly of soft-matter, including cells, into arbitrary shapes, which facilitates the growth of organoids. In this talk I will also address very small systems and describe fabrication tools that can be used to obtain large numbers of designer micro- and nanostructures, including nanopropellers that can penetrate biological tissue, nanopens that can be injected into cells with laser light, and self-propelled autonomous chemical nanomotors, which can facilitate the penetration of biological barriers. Finally, it is shown that high fidelity models and organ phantoms are ideal for the development of, training on and evaluation of biomedical micro systems as well as robotic surgery.
Institute of Medical Robotics