Non-contact Micro/Nano Object Manipulation

S. Wereley
Purdue University,
United States

Keywords: lab on a chip,


Recently our research group has developed an innovative method for capturing, concentrating, manipulating and sorting populations of particles, cells, macro-molecules, etc. This novel technique, called Rapid Electrokinetic Patterning (REP), combines features of optical trapping and dielectrophoresis in an innovative, dynamic way using a simple electrode configuration. Transparent electrodes comprised of Indium Tin Oxide (ITO) on glass substrates are used to generate an electric field in the fluid while at the same time allowing light into and out of the fluid. Near-IR optical illumination causes subtle localized heating, creating an electric permittivity gradient that in turn drives a microscopic toroidal vortex. The vortex efficiently transports particles to a preferred location, usually the surface of the electrode. I will discuss applications featuring bacteria, DNA and nanowires.