Thursday, April 18, 2013

Optically Driven Mobile Integrated Micro-Tools for a Lab-on-a-Chip

Yi-Jui Liu, Yi-Hsiung Lee, Yu-Sheng Lin, Chingfu Tsou, Patrice L. Baldeck and Chih-Lang Lin
This study proposes an optically driven complex micromachine with an Archimedes microscrew as the mechanical power, a sphere as a coupler, and three knives as the mechanical tools. The micromachine is fabricated by two-photon polymerization and is portably driven by optical tweezers. Because the microscrew can be optically trapped and rotates spontaneously, it provides driving power for the complex micro-tools. In other words, when a laser beam focuses on the micromachine, the microscrew is trapped toward the focus point and simultaneously rotates. A demonstration showed that the integrated micromachines are grasped by the optical tweezers and rotated by the Archimedes screw. The rotation efficiencies of the microrotors with and without knives are 1.9 rpm/mW and 13.5 rpm/mW, respectively. The micromachine can also be portably dragged along planed routes. Such Archimedes screw-based optically driven complex mechanical micro-tools enable rotation similar to moving machines or mixers, which could contribute to applications for a biological microfluidic chip or a lab-on-a-chip.
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