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A micromanipulator is an instrument used to interact and manipulate a sample, usually under a microscope. Micromanipulators are used where the movements needed are on such a small scale as to be impossible for the human hand to do. They are used for different applications across a scientific disciplines and engineering, including the life sciences, optics and circuit engineering.

MicromanipulatorCleverArm MicromanipulatorCleverArm Micromanipulator

There are many different types of micromanipulators on the market including motorised and manual systems. MCI are able to provide both and have a great deal of experience in manipulator design and manufacturing.

MCI Micromanipulators

Our CleverArm Motorised Micromanipulator integrates elements of well-proven technology to provide an exceptionally stable, reliable and user friendly manipulator, packed full of useful features for the electrophysiologist.

The EasyArm is the ideal solution for applications which don’t require remote control, allowing for fine manual control and easy mounting options.

What Are The Basic Parts of a Micromanipulator?

For a more complete discussion of the basic micromanipulator design characteristics, read our Fundamentals article

Control Interface and Movement

This part is made up of hardware as well as computer software that the operator uses to get the required level of movement and control. In addition to the actual movement involved in the unit itself there can be external software and remote control interface equipment. The software can allow the user to programme in movements remotely using electrically controlled remote interfaces. As well as electronic movement there are also hydraulic options available for even more control as well as wireless interface systems.


The movement itself is controlled by actuators. These devices allow digital or mechanical force to be converted into a rotary motion. There are 4 main types of Acuators found in micromanipulators

  • Piezo Acuators
  • Hydraulic Drums
  • Stepper Motors
  • Micrometers/Fine-Thread precision screws (for manual micromanipulators)


Every actuator is part of or, in fact, attached to a micromanipulator stage. The stage is basically working in a similar way to the actuator in that it has fixed and moving parts. The fixed part remains in the same position while the moving part can move forwards and backwards. The fixed part of the actuator and the stage are both attached so stages moves through it’s associated actuator.  For the most part the stage is made from aluminium but in some cases the metal is not suitable and has to be treated using surface modification treatments. There are a number of other factors involved in the materials and electronics used in micromanipulators for certain conditions and this is looked at in more detail here  along with many other aspects.

Basic Movement Criteria of Micromanipulators

Depending on the application, users may require different scales of movement resolution, movement speed, range and accuracy. These are the critical variables integrated into manipulator design by manufacturers, which are typically presented to suit particular applications. For a more complete discussion of the basic micromanipulator design characteristics, read our Fundamentals article

MCI’s CleverArm Micromanipulator was developed specifically for patch clamp electrophysiology, as well as for other applications where stability and versatility in terms of mounting options  and the control interface is essential.

The EasyArm manual manipulator has four manual, fine control axes, for applications where sub-micron resolution is still important, but remote control is not critical

Get In Touch

If you would like to discuss the applications, costs or any other points about our micromanipulators please get in touch with our team today. We supply labs across the world with a huge range of neuroscience equipment and we pride ourselves on not only great products but great service too. If you are working on a grant application our team would be happy to help with a quote.