Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Electromagnetic Miniatures

Simultaneous production of microchannels with parallel, electrically conducting metal wires

Magnetic components that can be controlled by the application of an external electric field are useful in many different applications. They can serve as microfluidic pumps, mixers, or valves in miniature lab-on-chip systems, or they can help in sorting and arranging magnetic particles. Biochemistry and cellular biology in particular benefit from many possible uses: for example, antibodies or other ligands that bind to individual biomolecules or to surface structures of cells can be coupled to magnetic beads in order to recognize and bind to their specific bonding partner even in complex mixtures. They can subsequently be fished out of the mixture with an electromagnet.

Electromagnets have an additional advantage over permanent magnets: they can easily be switched on and off with an electric current. Also, the field strength can be adjusted to the desired value and can be changed as required. However, electromagnets do have the disadvantage of generating weaker magnetic fields, meaning that they must be very close to the place where they are to be used.

G. M. Whitesides and his co-workers at Harvard University in Cambridge, USA, have now developed an uncomplicated method for producing a microfluidic channel along with two metal cables parallel to it and only 10 µm away. First, a structure consisting of a 40-µm-wide and 40-µm-deep inner channel between two 120-µm-wide and 40-µm-deep outer channels was lithographically engraved into a polydimethylsiloxane resin. Treatment with 3-mercaptopropyltrimethoxysilane silanized the surfaces of the outer channels. This allowed them to be coated with molten solder that was poured into the heated forms in the next step. Upon cooling, the liquid metal solidified, forming two stable metal cables to the left and right of the inner channel. Application of an electrical field to these two wires generates magnetic fields of up to 2.8 mT within the central channel.

... more about:
»Magnetic »magnetic field

It was also possible to steer magnetic spheres through the channel: the scientists again made a channel with parallel wires on either side, but this time the channel forked after a few millimeters. A suspension of magnetic spheres flowed through the channel. If current was allowed to flow through wire on the right, the spheres flowed to the right as they reached the fork, and vice versa.

George M. Whitesides | EurekAlert!
Further information:

Further reports about: Magnetic magnetic field

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht North and South Cooperation to Combat Tuberculosis
22.03.2018 | Universität Zürich

nachricht Researchers Discover New Anti-Cancer Protein
22.03.2018 | Universität Basel

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Researchers Discover New Anti-Cancer Protein

An international team of researchers has discovered a new anti-cancer protein. The protein, called LHPP, prevents the uncontrolled proliferation of cancer cells in the liver. The researchers led by Prof. Michael N. Hall from the Biozentrum, University of Basel, report in “Nature” that LHPP can also serve as a biomarker for the diagnosis and prognosis of liver cancer.

The incidence of liver cancer, also known as hepatocellular carcinoma, is steadily increasing. In the last twenty years, the number of cases has almost doubled...

Im Focus: Researchers at Fraunhofer monitor re-entry of Chinese space station Tiangong-1

In just a few weeks from now, the Chinese space station Tiangong-1 will re-enter the Earth's atmosphere where it will to a large extent burn up. It is possible that some debris will reach the Earth's surface. Tiangong-1 is orbiting the Earth uncontrolled at a speed of approx. 29,000 km/h.Currently the prognosis relating to the time of impact currently lies within a window of several days. The scientists at Fraunhofer FHR have already been monitoring Tiangong-1 for a number of weeks with their TIRA system, one of the most powerful space observation radars in the world, with a view to supporting the German Space Situational Awareness Center and the ESA with their re-entry forecasts.

Following the loss of radio contact with Tiangong-1 in 2016 and due to the low orbital height, it is now inevitable that the Chinese space station will...

Im Focus: Alliance „OLED Licht Forum“ – Key partner for OLED lighting solutions

Fraunhofer Institute for Organic Electronics, Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP, provider of research and development services for OLED lighting solutions, announces the founding of the “OLED Licht Forum” and presents latest OLED design and lighting solutions during light+building, from March 18th – 23rd, 2018 in Frankfurt a.M./Germany, at booth no. F91 in Hall 4.0.

They are united in their passion for OLED (organic light emitting diodes) lighting with all of its unique facets and application possibilities. Thus experts in...

Im Focus: Mars' oceans formed early, possibly aided by massive volcanic eruptions

Oceans formed before Tharsis and evolved together, shaping climate history of Mars

A new scenario seeking to explain how Mars' putative oceans came and went over the last 4 billion years implies that the oceans formed several hundred million...

Im Focus: Tiny implants for cells are functional in vivo

For the first time, an interdisciplinary team from the University of Basel has succeeded in integrating artificial organelles into the cells of live zebrafish embryos. This innovative approach using artificial organelles as cellular implants offers new potential in treating a range of diseases, as the authors report in an article published in Nature Communications.

In the cells of higher organisms, organelles such as the nucleus or mitochondria perform a range of complex functions necessary for life. In the networks of...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Industry & Economy
Event News

Virtual reality conference comes to Reutlingen

19.03.2018 | Event News

Ultrafast Wireless and Chip Design at the DATE Conference in Dresden

16.03.2018 | Event News

International Tinnitus Conference of the Tinnitus Research Initiative in Regensburg

13.03.2018 | Event News

Latest News

Modular safety concept increases flexibility in plant conversion

22.03.2018 | Trade Fair News

New interactive map shows climate change everywhere in world

22.03.2018 | Earth Sciences

New technologies and computing power to help strengthen population data

22.03.2018 | Earth Sciences

Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>