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 Switched-on DNA
20.02.2017 | Arizona State University

nachricht Using a simple, scalable method, a material that can be used as a sensor is developed
15.02.2017 | University of the Basque Country

All articles from Materials Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

Im Focus: Three Magnetic States for Each Hole

Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".

Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Impacts of mass coral die-off on Indian Ocean reefs revealed

21.02.2017 | Earth Sciences

Novel breast tomosynthesis technique reduces screening recall rate

21.02.2017 | Medical Engineering

Use your Voice – and Smart Homes will “LISTEN”

21.02.2017 | Trade Fair News

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>