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 OU-led team discovers rare, newborn tri-star system using ALMA
27.10.2016 | University of Oklahoma

nachricht First results of NSTX-U research operations
26.10.2016 | DOE/Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory

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: Etching Microstructures with Lasers

Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.

This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...

Im Focus: Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion

Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

How nanoscience will improve our health and lives in the coming years

27.10.2016 | Materials Sciences

OU-led team discovers rare, newborn tri-star system using ALMA

27.10.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

'Neighbor maps' reveal the genome's 3-D shape

27.10.2016 | Life Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>