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Title: Miniature plastic gripper and fabrication method

A miniature plastic gripper actuated by inflation of a miniature balloon and method of fabricating same. The gripper is constructed of either heat-shrinkable or heat-expandable plastic tubing and is formed around a mandrel, then cut to form gripper prongs or jaws and the mandrel removed. The gripper is connected at one end with a catheter or tube having an actuating balloon at its tip, whereby the gripper is opened or closed by inflation or deflation of the balloon. The gripper is designed to removably retain a member to which is connected a quantity or medicine, plugs, or micro-components. The miniature plastic gripper is inexpensive to fabricate and can be used for various applications, such as gripping, sorting, or placing of micron-scale particles for analysis.
 [1];  [2];  [3];  [4];  [1]
  1. (Livermore, CA)
  2. (Los Altos, CA)
  3. (Walnut Creek, CA)
  4. (Berkeley, CA)
Issue Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Regents of University of California (Oakland, CA) LLNL
Patent Number(s):
US 5609608
Contract Number:
Research Org:
Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States)
Country of Publication:
United States
miniature; plastic; gripper; fabrication; method; actuated; inflation; balloon; fabricating; constructed; heat-shrinkable; heat-expandable; tubing; formed; mandrel; cut; form; prongs; jaws; removed; connected; catheter; tube; actuating; tip; whereby; closed; deflation; designed; removably; retain; quantity; medicine; plugs; micro-components; inexpensive; fabricate; various; applications; gripping; sorting; placing; micron-scale; particles; analysis; miniature plastic; plastic gripper; plastic tubing; fabrication method; various applications; miniature balloon; heat-expandable plastic; gripper actuated; /606/