Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Microfluidics and optical trapping integrated for the first time in new lab-on-a-chip research

Researchers at Cornell University for the first time have integrated optical functions with microfluidic ones, enabling the sorting of particles by light.

Reported in the Oct. 29 issue of Optics Express, due out Monday, the Cornell team showcases a new design for a "lab-on-a-chip" structure that provides the ability to move or sort particles using light. In addition to the advance in telecom and datacom applications this brings, the new architecture also lends itself to applications in biodetection, including the sorting of viruses and protein recognition.


This novel architecture, created by lead researcher Michal Lipson and her group and David Erickson and his group, is made up of a field of solid core waveguides. The waveguides are fabricated from SU-8, a material whose mechanical hardness and chemical resistance make it a source for use in lab-on-chip analysis systems. The waveguides used in the device achieve a much more efficient sorting process, which enables trapping and sorting much smaller spheres with much lower intensities than what has been previously reported. By integrating these waveguides on a chip, a massive parallel sorting system may be created. This sorting system would allow for hundreds of measurements in parallel on a 1x1 cm chip, introducing a portable system that provides greater efficiency and lower cost than the current methodologies.

Key Findings

This is the first demonstration of complete integration of planar optical waveguides with microfluidic ones.

This integrated system allows researchers to use light to control the movement of particles in a pressure-driven flow.

The planar optofluidic architecture developed represents a simple yet functional optical manipulation system for lab-on-chip applications.

The use of planar photonic structures in microfluidic devices removes the need for table-top free-space optics, potentially reducing costs and increasing platform portability.

Such a system could find application in high-stability particle trapping and sorting, but also in biodetection by exploiting the strong light interaction between the particle and the evanescent field.

Colleen Morrison | EurekAlert!
Further information:

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht Researchers at Fraunhofer monitor re-entry of Chinese space station Tiangong-1
21.03.2018 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Hochfrequenzphysik und Radartechnik FHR

nachricht Taming chaos: Calculating probability in complex systems
21.03.2018 | American Institute of Physics

All articles from Physics and Astronomy >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

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...

Im Focus: Locomotion control with photopigments

Researchers from Göttingen University discover additional function of opsins

Animal photoreceptors capture light with photopigments. Researchers from the University of Göttingen have now discovered that these photopigments fulfill an...

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

TRAPPIST-1 planets provide clues to the nature of habitable worlds

21.03.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

The search for dark matter widens

21.03.2018 | Materials Sciences

Natural enemies reduce pesticide use

21.03.2018 | Life Sciences

Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>