Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Researchers develop new method of trapping multiple particles using fluidics

29.03.2016

Precise control of an individual particle or molecule is a difficult task. Controlling multiple particles simultaneously is an even more challenging endeavor. Researchers at the University of Illinois have developed a new method that relies on fluid flow to manipulate and assemble multiple particles. This new technique can trap a range of submicron- to micron-sized particles, including single DNA molecules, vesicles, drops or cells.

"This is a fundamentally new method for trapping multiple particles in solution," said Charles M. Schroeder, a U. of I. professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering. Schroeder conducted the research with mechanical science and engineering graduate student Anish Shenoy and chemical and biomolecular engineering professor Christopher Rao.


Using the Stokes Trap, the researchers can manipulate particles to follow any predetermined path.

Image courtesy of Anish Shenoy

The study results were reported in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Many methods exist for particle trapping, with each type using a different modality for trapping - including optical, magnetic, acoustic and electrical forces. However, many of these techniques change or perturb the system that is being observed.

"The existing techniques can be very restrictive in particle properties required for trapping, and we wanted to study a broad range of systems like bacterial cells and different types of soft particles like vesicles, bubbles and droplets," Shenoy said. None of the prevailing techniques can be used for studying this broad range of systems across multiple length scales, he said. Thus, the researchers wanted to build a technique that could be generally applied to arbitrary numbers of arbitrary kinds of particles.

Called the Stokes Trap, the method developed by Schroeder's team relies on gentle fluid flow to manipulate particles. Schroeder's group is the first to implement multiple particle trapping and assembly using fluid flow.

In order to control the movement of the particles from a set starting position to a set ending position, Shenoy and his colleagues developed an automated control algorithm that calculates which pressures are required to drive the flow fields and precisely move the particles in a small microdevice. The algorithm can solve the complex optimization problem in half a millisecond, he said.

"There are multiple parameters involved in the controller, and that's the complicated part of it," Schroeder said.

The control program is designed to calculate the particles' distance from a target position and move them efficiently by minimizing the flow rate necessary to move the particles. It also will allow researchers to assemble multiple particles into arbitrary, complex structures and to probe interactions between two or more particles.

The group hopes the Stokes Trap will become as universal as other commonly used trapping methods.

"This is not only another method in the toolbox but it also has several advantages over other methods," Schroeder said. "As long as you can see a particle and detect it in some way, you can trap it."

###

This research was supported by an FMC Educational Fund Fellowship; a Packard Fellowship from the David and Lucile Packard Foundation; and an NSF CAREER Award (CBET 1254340) from the National Science Foundation.

Editor's notes:

To reach Charles Schroeder, call 217-333-3906; email cms@illinois.edu [LINK].

The paper "Stokes trap for multiplexed particle manipulation and assembly using fluidics" is available online or from the News Bureau.

Media Contact

Sarah Banducci
eahlberg@illinois.edu
217-244-1073

 @NewsAtIllinois

http://www.illinois.edu 

Sarah Banducci | EurekAlert!

More articles from Materials Sciences:

nachricht ADIR Project: Lasers Recover Valuable Materials
21.07.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Lasertechnik ILT

nachricht High-tech sensing illuminates concrete stress testing
20.07.2017 | University of Leeds

All articles from Materials Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Manipulating Electron Spins Without Loss of Information

Physicists have developed a new technique that uses electrical voltages to control the electron spin on a chip. The newly-developed method provides protection from spin decay, meaning that the contained information can be maintained and transmitted over comparatively large distances, as has been demonstrated by a team from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute. The results have been published in Physical Review X.

For several years, researchers have been trying to use the spin of an electron to store and transmit information. The spin of each electron is always coupled...

Im Focus: The proton precisely weighted

What is the mass of a proton? Scientists from Germany and Japan successfully did an important step towards the most exact knowledge of this fundamental constant. By means of precision measurements on a single proton, they could improve the precision by a factor of three and also correct the existing value.

To determine the mass of a single proton still more accurate – a group of physicists led by Klaus Blaum and Sven Sturm of the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear...

Im Focus: On the way to a biological alternative

A bacterial enzyme enables reactions that open up alternatives to key industrial chemical processes

The research team of Prof. Dr. Oliver Einsle at the University of Freiburg's Institute of Biochemistry has long been exploring the functioning of nitrogenase....

Im Focus: The 1 trillion tonne iceberg

Larsen C Ice Shelf rift finally breaks through

A one trillion tonne iceberg - one of the biggest ever recorded -- has calved away from the Larsen C Ice Shelf in Antarctica, after a rift in the ice,...

Im Focus: Laser-cooled ions contribute to better understanding of friction

Physics supports biology: Researchers from PTB have developed a model system to investigate friction phenomena with atomic precision

Friction: what you want from car brakes, otherwise rather a nuisance. In any case, it is useful to know as precisely as possible how friction phenomena arise –...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Closing the Sustainability Circle: Protection of Food with Biobased Materials

21.07.2017 | Event News

»We are bringing Additive Manufacturing to SMEs«

19.07.2017 | Event News

The technology with a feel for feelings

12.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

NASA looks to solar eclipse to help understand Earth's energy system

21.07.2017 | Earth Sciences

Stanford researchers develop a new type of soft, growing robot

21.07.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Vortex photons from electrons in circular motion

21.07.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>